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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Grilled Bacon Wrapped Shrimps

A very common item on the Grillin Fool's menu is bacon wrapped shrimp but for some reason I have very few pics of this incredible and easy side or appetizer. One of the reasons I make these so often as that they are so versatile. I can all kinds of things with these from a sweet glaze make them flaming hot on the spiciness scale. I can make a crazy sauce to glaze them in or simply baste them in some melted butter....

I asked for 6 U14-18 shrimp. I usually go with the U10-12, but the ones in the U14-18 looked ever bit as big as the more expensive U10-12. Oh, for those that don't know, the U numbers stand for approximately how many units of shrimp make up a pound. And while I asked for 6, I was given 8. No big deal.

Some of you are thinking that those big shrimp are really expensive. The 8 were right about $7. So it was $3.50/person. Couple that with two 8 ounce lobster tails for $10/person and a box of rice and the meal was less than $15/person for a lobster tail, 4 large shrimps and a side of rice. That's pretty good considering the meal. I can drop more than $15 on a single steak.

So consider doing a couple of fat shrimps as an app or side. As an app, they may cost you $1/shrimp but if you go with say two per person and are feeding 4 that's only $8.

Here we have the shrimp with my celly for perspective:

First thing with prepping shrimp is to shell and devein them. Dad and I thought we took some great footage of the process. Shot it more than a few times but we had a slight problem. Originally I was going to film it and turned the camera to record and then we decided he would film it so I gave the camera to him which was recording. So he gets all centered in on the shrimp and hits the record button which stops the recording. Then at the end of the demonstration he hit the record button again starting the recording. I grab another shrimp, he gets it centered, hits the record button stopping the recording, I run through the process of deveining a shrimp and then he hits the record button turning the camera back on, and on and on for about 5 shrimp. The next time I do these I will get some footage and insert it in here. I have a couple of pics to help demonstrate the process but the vids would've been much better.

First, take the shrimp in your hand and put the legs toward your palm, or the exact opposite of what my dad is doing here:

Then hold the shrimp so the back is sticking up. Take a paring knife with the sharp edge of the blade away from your palm and insert it stright down from where the head of the shrimp would be:

Run the blade along the back to split the shell. When you get to the last section of the shell stop, pulld the shell off and then remove the tail. Pinch just above the hard section of the tail while gently pulling on the body of the shrimp. Now look into the cavity just created for the vein or any other dark matter. Remove that and you have a deshelled, deveined, butterflied shrimp ready for the grill. Or in this case, ready for the bacon!!!

If you go with smaller shrimp you may need to precook the bacon just a bit. Also, go with a third to a quarter piece of bacon. This bacon wrapped around the shrimp twice.

Here are all the ingredients used to make the shrimps:

I did them two different ways but to start all eight got a half strip of bacon wrapped around them and then skewered with a toothpick. From there half of them were destined to simply be braised in the drawn garlic butter I did with the lobster tails. The instructions on doing the drawn butter as well as the write up on how to grill lobster tails can be found here.

For the other half of them I did them in a honey/honey mustard/garlic sauce. And no, that was not a typo. Honey mustard plus more honey:

3 tbsp of honey mustard
1 tbsp of honey
1 1/4 tsp of chili powder
1 tsp of minced garlic
Couple of turns of the pepper grinder.

Combine all ingredients and wisk together. If you have more shrimp to do than four just try to keep the honey mustard to honey ration at 3:1. Once the sauce is made apply liberally to the shrimps with a BBQ or basting brush:

After my lobster tails had been on for about 3-4 minutes I threw on the shrimp over medium high heat. With the size of these shrimp, when the bacon is done the shrimp are done. Here are the shrimps next to my lobster tails. I left both on the grill for about 6 minutes from this point:

Here are the shrimps plated with the main course and a closeup of the shrimps:

I put the closeup in here so you can see that the honey mustard will blacken a bit due to the high sugar content. This is not a big deal. It will not taste burnt.

Other methods that I use to do bacon wrapped shrimp. I take a sprig of rosemary (not a woody sprig) and place it in the crevice created by butterflying the shrimps and then wrap in bacon. Or take a whole basil leaf, wrap it around the body of the shrimp and then wrap in bacon. I have braised them in sweet BBQ sauce. I have dredged them in chipotle Tobasco sauce for an incredible flavor that is not too hot.

Get creative. And by all means share your creative ideas in the comments section below!!!


  1. Yum! I love wrapping the shrimp with a basil leaf and then bacon. I'm going to try your method.

  2. Susan,

    One more thing you can do with the basil wrapped shrimp is put a little minced garlic in the cavity created when the shrimp is butterflied, then wrap in basil and then in bacon.

    I bet I make some sort of shrimp appetizer on the grill about twice a month in the warm months. There are a million different combinations. And I just planted my basil plant 2 weeks ago and it already has some growth...