Although I drank Pernod and Ricard regularly in the 1960s, probably trying to capture some of the absynthed minds of Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, Ernest Hemingway, Oscar Wilde and the like without risking LSD, I’d never thought of cooking with them until I saw Stefane’s ‘Crevette au Ricard‘ on My French Heaven. As some of you will know I adopted them as my Christmas Dinner starter and that turned out to be the gastronomic highlight of 2012. The Pernod flambe adds some indefinable taste, atmosphere, feeling to a very simple dish but surprisingly it cannot be identified as aniseed or liquorice.

Colourful poster for absinth

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As a result I ended up with an almost full bottle of Pernod in the cupboard. What to do with it?

It’s not so full now! I’ve been drinking it, in what I believe is the basic French way – 1:5 with water. I do like it, though at this dilution you have to be a bit careful (unless, of course, you want to get ‘smashed’).

However, I also started to do a bit of research on internet and found that Pernod Ricard themselves had recommended ‘shrimp’ (in the UK these are tiny things found most famously in Morecambe bay; I think it was about what we call prawns)

What 'shrimp' means to most British people

What ‘shrimp’ means to most British people

flambe’d in Pernod at a cooking school in New York. It was described in an article by Roberta Roberti on:

I presume Roberta is a staff member, writer or something, at Epicurean but the article is a good read and there were two recipes, including the flambe’d prawns.

Although I haven’t made the one given on Epicurean I can be pretty certain I’d prefer Stefane’s simpler recipe. It seems to me that serving the prawn on a bed of fennel is putting it with something too close in flavour to Pernod not to mask the extremely subtle flavour from the flambe. But the Anise Flavored Cream with Fresh Orange Salad, the other recipe given, looks worth a try and I’ll almost certainly have a go at it for our next guests.