A few days ago it was my good friend Jay’s 50th Birthday, knowing him and his love of shrimp I wanted to do something special for his surprise party. So I made bacon wrapped shrimp and he loved it.
First take 10 inch wooden skewers and soak them in cold water for about an hour.
You will need 16 – 20 peeled and deveined shrimp from your favorite fish monger. The term 16-20 means that there are 16 to 20 shrimp per pound. The lower the number means the bigger the shrimp. So 5 pounds of those shrimp would yield close to 100 pieces.
Take your favorite bacon out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature while you do the following step.
Carefully remove the tails from all the shrimp and skewer 2 of them onto one stick leaving about ½ inch of the point exposed above the shrimp. Once they are all on the sticks lightly sprinkle some black pepper over the shrimp.
Take a piece of bacon, poke it with the sharp tip to make a tiny hole and then slip it on the handle side of the skewer and pull up to the bottom of the shrimp. Then methodically wrap the bacon up the skewer around the shrimp making sure to cover as much of the shrimp as you go. Now the reason you left the tip of the skewer exposed is to take that last bit of bacon you are holding on to and stretch it over the tip to hold it in place.
Turn on the oven to 500F and place a few on a sheet pan so they are all on a single layer and cook 7-9 minutes on the first side then flip over for about 4-5 more on the other side. The bacon will be brown and a little crispy and the shrimp will be deliciously moist and juicy.
Serve right away warning your guests that the skewers will be hot.
To take it one step further, for the people who like spicy food, make a quick sauce consisting of equal parts Sriracha Sauce and Maple Syrup to dip the skewers into. The syrup compliments the bacon and pepper and the Sriracha adds spice to the sweet shrimp.
For a nice weekend brunch or even a light weeknight dinner a quiche always works. You can change the fillings and spices to have something different every time. My wife makes the dough as she enjoys baking.
For the dough:
1 1/2 cup flour
4-5 tablespoons cold milk
4 tbsp unsalted butter cold – cut into small chunks
4 tbsp shortening cold – broken up into small chunks
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
Mix the flour, salt and pepper together. Add in, alternating, the butter and shortening into the flour. Using a dough blender or a fork, combine until the dough is coarse pebbles. Add in 4 tbsp of milk and bring the dough together in a ball, if it is still dry, add more cold milk. Take the dough and wrap with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes to chill.
Roll out the dough and place in a nine in pie plate.
For the filling:
6 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
6 strips of bacon
1 cup frozen spinach, drained and chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp garlic, finely diced
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
In a large saucepan cook the bacon until crispy, place them on a paper towel to drain any excess oil. Do not discard the bacon grease left in the pan. Chop the bacon into chunks.
In the saucepan add in the onions and garlic and cook until softened. Remove from pan.
In a large bowl whisk the eggs and milk. Stir in salt, pepper, onions and garlic.
Place the egg mixture in the rolled out dough in the pie plate. Place the chopped bacon, cheese and spinach carefully in the egg mixture.
Cook at 375 F for about 35-45 minutes until eggs are set.
There was an evening that my In-laws came over to look at what my beautiful wife had done to improve the garden. It got late so I offered to make them dinner. I threw some chicken on the grill (to make my mother in-law happy) but to make my father in-law happy (most important) I presented him with my favorite way to have asparagus (which he doesn’t like that much!) So as the girls were in the kitchen putting together a salad, the men were outside tending to the fire and I showed him this . . . Bacon wrapped Asparagus – everything is better with bacon so here is how it goes.
Trim the asparagus bottoms to get rid of the woody parts.
Put the asparagus pieces in the freezer for 5 minutes.
Carefully wrap bunches of 3 or 5 asparagus spears with a piece of bacon.
Dust the wrapped bundles with black pepper and place into a 450 degree oven.
Cook to your preferred doneness on the bacon. For me and my wife, not too crispy.
Put the platter of bacon wrapped goodness in the middle of the table as a side dish.