Looking for a crowd pleasing-appetizer? Make bacon-wrapped shrimp! Kinda ridiculously good.
I blame the bacon.
Seriously, this one is really easy and crazy good. Bacon and shrimp make a very happy couple. For this recipe we are coating the shrimp with some lime and chili powder, and then wrapping them in slices of bacon, and either oven baking or putting on the grill.
Here are a couple of tips that can help make these even better.
First, especially when grilling shrimp, we highly recommend brining them first for 30 minutes in a sugar, salt, water solution. The brine helps the shrimp hold onto its moisture on the high heat of the grill. The shrimp remain plump and juicy.
Second, make sure to pre-cook the bacon a bit before wrapping them around the shrimp. (We microwave the strips.) Otherwise no amount of brining will keep the shrimp from drying out in the time it takes for the bacon to be cooked.
Recipe and photos updated, first published 2007
Figure 1 strip of bacon for every 2 shrimp.
Shrimp cook so quickly that to help keep them from drying out whether grilling or oven roasting, we recommend brining them first.
Just whisk together 1/4 cup of kosher salt, 1/4 cup of sugar, and 4 cups of water until the salt and sugar dissolve. Add the ice and the shrimp, and let sit for 30 minutes (no longer).
- 1 pound (12-20 count), raw, peeled and deveined shrimp (tail on)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Zest from 1 lime
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder or chili powder (less or more to taste)
- 6-10 strips thin bacon, cut in half (half as many pieces of bacon as there are shrimp)
- Skewers (for grilling) or toothpicks (for oven)
- 4 cups water
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup ice
1 Toss shrimp with lime zest, lime juice, olive oil, chipotle powder: Mix together in a small bowl the lime zest, lime juice, olive oil, and chipotle powder. Put the shrimp in the lime chipotle mixture; make sure each piece is well coated.
2 Partially cook the bacon: Spread the bacon pieces out over several layers of paper towels on a microwave-safe plate. Cover with another layer of paper towel. Microwave on high until the bacon fat begins to melt but the bacon is still pliable, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
3 Prepare grill or preheat oven: Prepare grill on high, direct heat (if grilling) or preheat the oven to 450°F.
4 Wrap the shrimp with bacon: Working one at a time, wrap a half piece of partially cooked bacon around each piece of shrimp.
5 Secure bacon to shrimp with skewers if grilling, toothpicks if oven cooking: If you are grilling, thread the shrimp onto long, flat skewers (flat skewers make turning the shrimp on the grill easier). If you don't have flat skewers, I've used two thin bamboo skewers (soaked in water for 30 minutes beforehand) to the same effect.
If you are using the oven, secure each the bacon onto the shrimp with toothpicks. Place the bacon-wrapped shrimp on a slotted baking pan (lined with foil inside for easy cleaning). Brush remaining lime chipotle mixture on the outside of the bacon-wrapped shrimp.
6 Grill or bake the shrimp: Grill uncovered for 3 minutes on each side (less or more time depending on the heat of your grill), or bake in the oven for 4-5 minutes, or until the bacon is browned and the shrimp is just cooked through.