Katie (Thyme for Cooking) recently made Grilled Shrimps with Pimiento Sauce. Not only did Katie’s grilled shrimp sound wonderful, but she reminded me that I’ve been meaning to post about the celebratory grilled shrimps that we had in April when we could finally use the barbecue after weeks of blustery, snowy, icy cold weather.
And here it is, almost summer. The garden is at its best. It’s always so promising in the spring. Everything wants to grow. I love it that a basil plant that broke at the base (when being transported from the garden center in my bicycle pannier) has thrown out new roots. All I did was jam the stem deep down into the soil when I was transplanting the herbs last week.
While I was transplanting the basil (in a window box set on the second floor balcony floor), I was thrilled to see that our sage plant had overwintered successfully! There’s something so fabulous about plants that break the rules. The pot is not nearly large enough to protect the roots from winter’s blast. It’s only about 20cm x 80cm and approximately 20cm deep. And even though it’s relatively close to the house, it IS on the balcony, exposed to wind! Miraculously, the tarragon in the box survived as well and is just about ready to be trimmed back just a little.
We didn’t have crusty bread to go with the shrimps in April so decided to toss them in pasta. It was so good that we had it again a few days later…
This is what T did with our grilled shrimp:
Shrimps in Pernod on Spaghettini
You may want to play with the measurements.
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, more or less
- sliced ham, optional
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped finely
- ¼ c Pernod
- garlic cloves, crushed
- ½ tsp Chicken stock powder, or seasalt
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- ¼ c cream, optional
- uncooked shrimps (shells and tail on)
- olive oil
- seasalt and pepper, to taste
- salted water, boiling
- fresh tarragon, optional
- Pasta Sauce Melt butter in a frying pan.
- Cut the ham, if using, into bite size pieces. (We get double smoked ham from our Polish butcher.) Saute the ham in the butter until it is almost brown.
- Add onion and saute til translucent. Add minced garlic and continue to cook over medium heat until almost brown. It is better if the onions and garlic do NOT get caramelized.
- Add 3 Tbsp Pernod, thyme, chicken stock powder (or salt) and cream, if using – the cream softens the flavour. Reduce to about half. For the reducing, the mixture should be at a gently smiling boil.
- Add the remaining 1 Tbsp Pernod and turn heat down to keep the sauce warm.
- Shrimps Slit the shrimps all the way to the tail but leave the shells on. It’s important to leave the shells on for maximum flavour! (Slitting them all the way to the tail makes them easier to peel after they’re cooked.) Wash the shrimps well and drain in a colander. Then toss the shrimps in olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Preheat the barbecue to hot. Grill the shrimps in a barbecue wok until they have turned pink. Remember, they take no time at all to cook! Set aside on the counter.
- Spaghettini Put spaghettini in plenty of salted water at a rolling boil and cook til al dente. The spaghettini should be quite firm because it will continue to cook when tossed in the sauce. Drain the pasta.
- Put it all together Over very low heat, put the drained pasta into the Pernod sauce frying pan. Use tongs to toss the sauce in the pasta. This separates the noodles and coats each one.
- Serve the spaghettini on warmed plates, and arrange the grilled shrimp overtop. Grind more black pepper over top. Garnish with sprigs of tarragon if you have them.
Serve immediately with a green vegetable.Notes:
:: This might not seem like a presto sort of dinner but if you have grilled shrimps left over (that’s a little joke there) all you have to do is prepare the Pernod sauce.
:: If the barbecue is unavailable, the shrimps can be cooked directly in the sauce. If cooking shrimp on the stovetop, peel them (leave the tails on – they look pretty) and use the shells to make a fish stock by boiling them in a tiny bit of water. Add that stock to the sauce and cook the shrimp directly in the sauce. It takes virtually no time for the shrimp to be done.
:: Lemon thyme is also very nice as a garnish.
recipes from OUR kitchen:
But now we have tarragon growing in the garden. Hmmm, I think it’s time for grilled shrimp again! Mmmmm, fresh tarragon!!
Remind me to put shrimps on the grocery list.
By the way, could you also remind me to tell you about the other two pasta dishes we have had recently, thanks to a fantastic article about Italy in SAVEUR magazine issue #120. (When you remind me, please tell me which one should I rave about first: the one made with dried peppers or fettucine Alfredo made with NO cream.)
And speaking of reminding, Katie reminded me about something else recently too…. Think! think! …oh yes, now I remember! I was supposed to forget that she is hosting PPN this week.
Ooops! Sorry about that, Katie!
Presto Pasta Nights
Ruth (Once Upon a Feast) created this lovely event for people to share their favourite pasta dishes. Katie (Thyme For Cooking) is hosting this week. (Please don’t tell her I told you.)
For complete details on how to participate in Presto Pasta Nights (PPN), please read the following:
edit 12 June 2009: Katie has posted the PPN#117 round up. Go take a look. You know you neeeeed to have at least one of those dishes for lunch. And dinner. And breakfast.