Saturday, July 23, 2016

Sambuca Shrimp: because you're worth it! #recipe #mystery #appetizer @AbbottMysteries

For many years, our favorite appetizer at good Italian restaurants has been Sambuca shrimp. After the last time, I decided we would have to try to make it.  On that day, the restaurant (Babbo’s in Manotick) was so busy, there was no way to ask for the recipe, so I did my best to reconstruct it using a collection of recipe books and wading through offerings on the web.  When I thought we had a good version, I tried it as the appetizer at our writing group’s annual retreat when Erika Chase/Linda Wiken and I (MJ/Victoria Abbott) were in charge of one dinner.  Over the next two weeks, you will get to see the recipes we used and you might figure out that we have fun. 

So let’s start off with:

 Sambuca Shrimp 

All you need is:

1 pound large shrimp peeled and deveined. Shrimp may be fresh or thawed (and dried off)
3 tablespoons butter
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1/3 cup whipping cream (35 %)
4 ounces Sambuca liqueur

Sea salt and ground pepper to taste.

Serves four as an appetizer.  May be added to cooked rice or pasta as a main dish. 


All you do is:

Melt 2 tbsp of butter and mix well with minced garlic and whipping cream. Chill until ready to use. At this point, you can marinate the shrimp in two ounces of the Sambuca. Discard this marinade before cooking.

In a cast-iron frying pan (if you’re lucky enough to have one!) melt one tablespoon of butter.  Sauté the shrimp until just pink. Add additional two ounces of Sambuca and flambé. This is great fun and it is nice if you have an audience,  We had a bit of a hassle getting the shrimp to flame, but poured some extra (!) Sambuca in the center and tried another match.  Perfect! Too bad the flame was gone before we could take a photo.

Remove from heat and add the cream mixture.

Return to stove top and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add a bit of sea salt and ground pepper if you want.  

Serve shrimp on individual small plates and pour cream sauce over.  Our hostess, the mystery writer, Joan Boswell, gets the first plate.  She deserves it!

These were a huge hit and that's a good thing.  It appears we will be making them forever, as we now have a large bottle of Sambuca.  Here’s a cosmic question:  Why do the bottles of specialty liquor or liqueurs always come in large bottles when all you need is four ounces or even one tablespoon?  Never mind. You're worth it!

Speaking of cosmic questions.  How do you like our fedoras?  They're our way of celebrating the count-down to The Hammett Hex.   Probably Hammett is rolling in his grave, but we like them anyway.

And now, (DRUM ROLL)  here's the trailer for The Hammett HexWatch the trailer!

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Happy summer reading, everyone!


  1. Love the fedoras! Can't wasit to try the shrimp! Thanks

    1. Thank you, Janette! Hope you like it. Hugs. MJ and Victoria

  2. Thanks for the post, and the recipe! And I'm sure the wonderful Mr. Hammett is actually thinking how spiffy you ladies look in your hats, but he might refer to you as dames (no offense, I hope!!!)! :-)

    1. We are dangerous dames, Nicole, and proud of it. Hope you like the recipe and thanks for coming by. Hugs. MJ and Victoria

  3. What fun! This shrimp recipe is new to me but I cannot wait to try. I have fabulous friends coming to visit in the fall. I bet they'll love it!

    1. Lovely! It's perfect for fabulous friends and it's good for any time of year. Hope you enjoy it. Thanks, Krista. XO MJ and Victoria

  4. I love shrimp! That is about all that I have been craving lately. Some day I will try this recipe, for sure! Thanks!

    1. Thanks, Elaine! I hope you like the results! Hugs, MJ and Victoria

  5. There is something green in that recipe?