I recently received “Barefoot Contessa Foolproof” as a gift and have been waiting to try a new recipe. I love going through cook books, staring at the delicious looking food, and book marking recipes. Foolproof dishes are deeply satisfying, recipes that you can trust and as Ina Garten wrote: “when a recipe becomes truly foolproof, you feel that you can almost make it with your eyes closed.” That is how I feel about Ina’s recipes– they are always reliable and you want to make dishes over again.
I chose this recipe for fennel & garlic shrimp because I needed a fairly simple dish to make at a friend’s house. It’s super easy and oh so delicious. I did not end up using Pernod or fleur del sel and the truth is, I didn’t feel like buying them. Pernod is an optional ingredient anyways and I just used kosher salt. It’s a dish perfect for sharing. I recommend eating with toasted baguette to dip in the sauce or with basmati rice. My only warning is that it is a very garlicy dish so I wouldn’t recommend scheduling any hot dates or kissing sessions after eating this 🙂
Fennel and Garlic Shrimp
Makes 2-3 servings
4 tablespoons good olive oil
1 cup chopped fennel bulb, fronds reserved
3 tablespoons minced garlic (9 cloves)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound (16-20 count) shrimp, peeled with tails on
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon Pernod (optional)
1 teaspoon fleur de sel
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground
1. Heat the olive oil in a large (12-inch) saute pan over medium heat. Add the fennel and saute for 5 minutes, until tender but not browned. Turn the heat to medium-low, add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook at a very low sizzle for 2 to 3 minutes, until the garlic just begins to color.
2. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels, add them to the pan, and toss together with the fennel and olive oil. Spread the shrimp in one layer and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes on one side. Turn the shrimp and cook for 2 minutes on the other side, until they’re pink and just cooked through.
3. Off the heat, sprinkle with parsley, 1 tablespoon of chopped fennel fronds, the Pernod (if using), the fleur de sel, and black pepper, and serve with bread to soak up the pan juices.