This post is dedicated to Patti A., as I haven’t had a chance to do the Angel Food Cake with Strawberries recipe that she requested. This ones for you, girl!
Today is the 4th of July, and I can hear the fireworks going off as I’m writing this. Finally, and hopefully, the weather will warm up now. I cleaned and readied my BBQ grill today for the first time since last summer. I was so happy to get that chore done, so there will be minimal preparation for future grilling. I have that whole Red Snapper that I want to grill next, plus recipes for Chicken Wings with Lime Sauce and Chicken Curry Kabobs that are marinated in a yogurt sauce. I love my grill. Maybe I’ll go out and give it a big hug right now!
You start the Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp by precooking the bacon to partially render some of the fat. It will look gross, but don’t brown it, because you need it soft to wrap around the shrimp. Exercise whatever self control is necessary for this procedure.
The marinade is red from the paprika and cayenne, sweet from sugar and has zing from the lemon juice, curry powder and cumin. Combined with the smoky notes from the bacon, this is an irresistible combination. I usually remove the tails, but left them on this time for the photographic drama. So, on or off, your preference.
The amount of time to grill the shrimp will depend on how hot your fire is and the distance from the heat. Just cook them until the bacon is crispy and a little charred.
If you are putting these out as an appetizer, they won’t last long. I made them for a family gathering once and I noticed that everybody had disappeared. I searched and they were all standing around the platter with the BBQ Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp. They weren’t talking, just chewing. They did that until the shrimp were all gone. I had to muscle my way in to grab a few for myself. Anyway, I just want you to be ready for this phenomenon.
And then…sigh…the last morsel is gone.
BBQ Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp
6 First-Course or 3 Main-Course Servings
1 pound of bacon, thin center-cut style
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 ½ pounds large shrimp (20-25 count), shelled, deveined, tails left on or off, your preference
1. Cut the slices of bacon on half. In a large heavy skillet, partially cook the bacon over moderate heat to render some of the fat without allowing the pieces to crisp. Remove the slices as they are done and drain on paper towels. They will still be flobby and look unappetizing. They need to be soft so you can wrap them around the shrimp, and you will finish cooking them on the grill.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the paprika, cayenne, curry powder, cumin, coriander, salt and black pepper. Stir in the olive oil, sugar and lemon juice. Add the shrimp and partially cooked bacon, and toss well to coat. Let marinate at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Meanwhile, light a charcoal fire. Remove the shrimp from the marinade, reserving the marinade. Wrap a half-slice of bacon around each shrimp and thread on a skewer. Overlap the ends of the bacon on the tummy of the shrimp, poking the skewer through that point and out through the back. You can also use a toothpick to individually secure the bacon, if you are using a wire basket or other means to keep the shrimp from falling through into the fire.
4. Place the skewers on a sheet pan covered with aluminum foil and drizzle the remainder of marinade over the shrimp.
5. Brush your grill rack with a little oil and set it about 5 inches from the glowing coals. Grill the shrimp skewers for about 5 minutes, until the bacon begins to be crispy. Turn skewers over and grill until the bacon is browned, and the shrimp is opaque throughout. Serve hot or warm.