This is hands-down my most favoritist entree ever. Ever. Ever. Ever. And yet, I hadn't made it in years. The reason: I never had a written-down recipe and the last time I made it, it just wasn't up to par. I've been gun shy.
So after all this time, I went on a search and found a recipe that I knew was almost identical to how I use to make it. My only deviation was the addition of sliced mushrooms and the pasta. And it came out perfectly.
There was a restaurant in Oklahoma City many years ago and this was their signature dish (and at about $25/plate 25 years ago....quite the splurge!) I have never seen it served anywhere else and what a shame. This (to me) is heaven on a plate. It's basically a shrimp scampi recipe with the addition of an anise-flavored liqueur. This one addition sends this into the culinary stratosphere. There is a sweet, luscious, velvety smoothness in the sauce.
I have traditionally made this only for special occasions: anniversaries, birthdays, Valentine's Day. But it's been on the back burner for way too long. Now that I have a true recipe to follow, it's coming out of the mothballs and I'm not saving it any longer!
SHRIMP SAMBUCA (4 servings)
1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined (I generally use 26/30s, don't go any smaller)
4 Tbsp butter, divided
1-2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 oz Sambuca liqueur or another anise-based liqueur)
8-12 oz sliced fresh mushrooms
cooked fettucine (or other pasta of your choice)
chopped parsley for garnish, optional
Melt 2 Tbsp butter on a low-medium to medium heat. Add garilc and saute being very careful not to let it burn. Add cream and mix well (you can refrigerate this part for several hours to allow garlic to permeate the butter).
Melt the remaining butter and saute the mushrooms. Add shrimp and cook until pink. Add the remaining butter, cream, and garlic mixture. Simmer on low for a few minutes. Season with S&P is desired.
Serve over pasta. Garnish with parsley. All you need now is a nice, crusty, artisan bread or baguette.
Recipe Source: adapted from http://www.food.com/recipe/sambuca-shrimp-105311