The flavour for this is pretty intense and I think the next time I would cut the vanilla a bit, as another person suggested. However, it is tasty and definitely different! Best served with something relatively bland, such as pasta in a simple parmesan and butter sauce, in my opinion.
Funny thing - was thinking about posting a recipe that used vanilla as a flavouring for a savoury dish. I ran a search on "vanilla" and found this. Yes! I urge you (and everyone else) to try it. A vanilla bean in the saute was my grandmother's "secret" ingredient for shellfish, or any white fleshed fish cooked "francais" style, as this is. I also put vanilla extract in the batter for a fried seafood dish (the one I was thinking of posting). Haven't actually tried your posted recipe (yet), but I'd likely use shallots instead of onion, if possible, and definitely fresh garlic instead of powder - I'm guessing McCormack's sells the garlic powder as well - or maybe I'm just pretentious :-) I'd also suggest that the skeptical non-vanilla lovers start with less than a tbs vanilla extract - maybe half that. You can always add more to the sauce in the final reduction, to taste. Thank you for posting this!
The recipe did sound interesting, but I couldn't taste much of the vanilla. This could have been a result of adding some fresh basil which may have over powered the vanilla. I plan on making it again with some light cream minus the basil. (My chef to be daughter told me the reason I didn't get a strong vanilla flavor was because I used pre-cooked frozen shrimp).
I saw a recipe for Vanilla Coconut Prawns(Shrimp) today on the Food Network. Chef Taputu from French Polynesia demonstrated how to saute the shrimp in butter with a split vanilla bean until pink and partially cooked. Squeeze 1/2 cup milk from freshly grated coconut into pan and finish cooking. Season with salt and pepper and serve. I'll bet this beautifully simple and elegant recipe will be less overpowering than the vanilla extract. Episode #KFSP02