grilled shrimps in Pernod (PPN#117)

go directly to the recipe

summary: recipe for grilled shrimps in Pernod on spaghettini; our method of grilling shrimps; information about Presto Pasta Nights (PPN); (click on image to see larger views and more photos)

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.

Shrimps in Pernod It’s hard to remember that not very long ago I was convinced that summer would NEVER arrive and that we’d never be able to use the barbecue again.

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
  • spaghettini
  • salted water, boiling
  • fresh tarragon, optional


  1. Pasta Sauce Melt butter in a frying pan.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Add the remaining 1 Tbsp Pernod and turn heat down to keep the sauce warm.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.


:: 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.

edit 12 June 2009:
:: If you don’t have Pernod, any licorice flavoured liquor works, but it’s better if it’s not too sweet. For instance, Sambucca is too sweet, not to mention, too expensive… (see the Cook’s Thesaurus: Anise-Flavored Liqueurs for alternatives to Pernod).

:: 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:

Shrimps in Pernod Alas, we didn’t have any fresh tarragon to go with this.

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! :lalala: Sorry about that, Katie!

Presto Pasta Nights - every FridayPresto 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.

This entry was posted in crossblogging, fish and seafood, food & drink, main course, pasta, posts with recipes, PPN; YeastSpotting; MLLA; T&C on by .

* Thank you for visiting. Even though I may not get a chance to reply to you directly, I love seeing your responses and/or questions and read each and every one of them. Please note that your e-mail address will never be displayed on this site, nor will it ever be shared.

"Moderation" is in use. It may take a little time before your response appears. Responses containing unsolicited advertising will be deleted as spam (which means any subsequent attempts will be automatically relegated to the spam section and unlikely to be retrieved). For further information, please read the Discussion Policy.

5 responses to “grilled shrimps in Pernod (PPN#117)

  1. maybelles mom

    I love Pernod with shrimp. This looks great.

    Thank you, MM; it IS really good. We had it again last night – this time with FRESH tarragon, fresh mint and snowpeas tossed into the spaghettini at the last minute. – ejm

  2. Ruth

    Shrimp PLUS Pernod!!!! I’m coming to your house! Thanks for sharing a great dish with Presto Pasta Nights and I’m expecting all those other pasta dishes too ;-)

    Excellent, Ruth! Say about 7:30? We’ll put another shrimp on the barbee… :-) – Elizabeth

  3. Katie

    I could eat this. All of it. Do I have to share?

    Sage is an amazing – and frustrating plant. I kept it alive in Minnesota, and on the mountain in Andorra. Do you think I could get it to live through the summer at our old house in France????? (NON!)

    But of course, Katie!! Sharing is over-rated.
    Sage is a strange plant. For years, I had a sage plant that would NOT stop growing, even though it was left outdoors in an 8 inch pot. Then one fall, I had the brilliant idea to transplant it to a larger pot so that it could become a larger plant. It died that winter. :stomp: Since then, and until this year, I’ve had a devil of a time getting sage to survive the winter. This spring, two of the four plants that I put in in various spots in the garden last spring survived the winter. So all I can suggest is to try putting sage into various spots of your new garden and hope for the best. Because, you neeeeeeeed sage. -Elizabeth

  4. Jude

    I’m kinda sad that I had to look up what Pernod is. And to think I blog about food :(

    Thanks for pointing out that I should really have offered an alternative for the Pernod. How remiss! Any licorice flavoured liquor works, but it’s better if it’s not too sweet. (For instance, Sambucca is too sweet, not to mention, too expensive….) I’ll fix the recipe. – Elizabeth

  5. Marc

    Wow delicious mouth watering stuff thanks for sharing i love prawns and the way you have arranged the dish fantastic ,i’ll try my hand in preparing this nice dish.


Post a Response

You must fill in the "response", "name", and "email" fields. Please rest assured that your email address will never be posted or shared. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam; learn how your discussion data is processed. Please note that the optional fields that point to your website URL and website name may be removed without notice. For more information about what can (or cannot) be included, please read the Discussion Policy.