Shrimp with Shallot-Tarragon Sauce on Wilted Spinach

My favorite food in the whole wide world is…

Wait for it…

Red Vines.

When I was a little and my mom would give me money for the swim meet or little league snack bar, I would always spend all five dollars on mass amounts of Red Vines. I prefer them to be stale, but I will take them either way.

Imagine my surprise when I was introduced to black licorice. All I could think was gross. What is this? This is nothing like my beloved Red Vines! They are the same shape. Why don’t they taste the same? It was horrible.

Knowing my general distaste for black licorice, I have been hesitant to use black licorice like herbs in my cooking. Both tarragon and fennel have intense licorice flavor and until lately it has sent me running for the hills.

Last night I decided to give it a try, of course in a recipe that involved LOTS of other ingredients. I decided to make this shrimp dish with tarragon, ginger, parsley and shallots. I’m not sure if was the tarragon or the butter and cream that worked, but the whole thing was delicious.

To serve two you will need(can be doubled for four)…

10 uncooked large shrimp, peeled and devained
¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided

5 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon, divided

2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger, divided

2 large shallots finely chopped

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

6 ounces fresh baby spinach

Toss the shrimp, parsley, 2 tablespoon olive oil, 2 tablespoon lemon juice, 6 teaspoons tarragon and 2 teaspoon ginger in a medium bowl. Sprinkle mixture with salt and pepper.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté for 5 minutes.

Add the shrimp mixture and sauté until the shrimp are almost cooked through and pink (about 3 minutes).

Add the butter and cream and bring just to a simmer. Add remaining 2 teaspoons of ginger. Season with salt and pepper, remove it from the heat and set it aside.

Heat the remaining oil in another large skillet over high heat. Add the spinach and remaining lemon juice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss until the spinach is just wilted (about 25 seconds). Mound the spinach in the center of the plates and surround with shrimp and sauce. Sprinkle the shrimp with the remaining tarragon.

Black licorice haters, fear not. This recipe is damn good. I had to fight Lindsey B, my Mom and Dad to save FIVE shrimp for Eric. Vultures.

Love and Beer Floats