Shrimp San Pedro

This is a variation on a dish that Pat Gallagher used to prepare at the Winner’s Circle. It is one of several I’ve encountered over the years that flavors shrimp with an anise-flavored liqueuer; every one of them was magnificent. This one is rather rich, but when served over pasta it’s not overwhelming in that regard.


  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 24 jumbo shrimp (21-25 count)
  • 1 cup green onions, white part only, chopped
  • 1 Tbs. green peppercorns (packed in brine, not the dry kind)
  • 12 thin asparagus, cut into pieces two inches long
  • 1/4 cup Pernod or Herbsaint
  • 1 pint whipping cream
  • 4 oz. sour cream
  • 1 lb. orzo pasta, cooked al dente
  • 8 leaves fresh basil, cut into ribbons

1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the shrimp and saute until pink. Remove and keep warm.

2. Add the green onions and the green peppercorns to the skillet and cook for one minute. Add the Pernod and bring it to a boil (you can flame it if you’re feeling dramatic and play it safe).

3. Add the cream and sour cream and stir into the skillet. Reduce by about one-fourth.

4. Return the shrimp and asparagus to the pan and cook for about two minutes, until asparagus are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

5. Add the orzo to the pan and toss with the shrimp to distribute all the ingredients. Garnish with fresh basil.

Serves four.

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