Monday, August 2, 2010

Adventures in the STL (The Final Chapter): Shrimp Smackdown

I come from an extremely competitive family.  In fact, everything is a competition.  And none of us like to lose. A board game with my family is an ulcer inducing event usually ending in one party shedding bitter tears of frustrated defeat, hurt feelings, and another round from the bar.

I'm not sure exactly why we are like this.  Perhaps we were all collectively dropped on our heads.  Perhaps mom didn't hug us enough.  Perhaps we are still processing being shoved into the bottom of a sleeping bag and carried around the house by one's brother like a parcel in Santa's bag and the residual emotional trauma now manifests itself in heart-racing panic attacks brought on by small, confining spaces, flashing red lights, and/or the smell of green apple bubble gum.

But I digress.

So, as we gathered in St. Louis to celebrate the 9,000 July birthdays in my family, it came as no surprise when another opportunity to crush the familial opposition arose.

My brother, K, made a birthday request for the bacon wrapped shrimp I had made a couple of Christmases ago.  The problem was, in true Improvised Chef fashion, I made up the recipe and never wrote it down.

"Umm...sure.  Do you remember what was in it?"  Attempting to save face, I chimed in with, "I could make some Buffalo Shrimp instead."

Unbeknown'st to me, K and his girlfriend (and major pot-stirrer in the best possible way) G kept a close eye on me that particular yuletide season and remembered the recipe, making their own adjustments to make it their own.

"I know," G chimed in, using the devilishly sweet tones reserved exclusively for one with mischief on the mind.  "Why don't you make yours, K will make ours, and we will have a cook off!"
K, G (the Innocent Bystander), and yours truly. 

And the birthday meal transformed into Battlefield Shrimp.

The grill was otherwise occupied so I roasted these bad lads.
Grilled Buffalo Shrimp

So simple.  So tasty.  Serve with celery stalks and Blue Cheese dip (recipe follows)

1 lb 21-23 count shrimp
1 cup hot sauce
1 Tbl butter

Heat up ye olde grill pan, and clean yo' shrimp (leaving tails intact).  Place those babies on the hot grill pan - 2 minutes on one side, flip 'em, and cook for one more minute.  Place in a bowl.

In a small saucepan, heat hot sauce and butter, until melted.  Pour over grilled shrimp and toss.  Serve hot or at room temp.

Blue Cheese Dip

2 oz blue cheese
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 green onions, finely chopped (white and green)
1 Tbl horseradish
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper

Throw that in a bowl, and mix.  Vi-Oh-Lay!  You have dip!

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

This is best served with a side of defibrillator.

1 lb. 21-23 count shrimp
1 lb thick cut bacon
4 oz cream cheese (room temp)
2 oz goat cheese (room temp)
1 small shallot, chopped
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 400.  Place a cooling rack on a baking sheet and lay slices of bacon on rack.  Cook in the oven until almost done (about 10 minutes).  Remove from oven, place on paper towel to cool.

While bacon cooks, combine cheeses, shallots, and pepper in a bowl and set aside.  Clean and peel shrimp leaving tail intact.  Butterfly the shrimp by making a small cut along the backside of the shrimp.
Spoon a small amount of the cheese mixture into the incision and wrap with bacon.  Secure with a skewer or toothpick.  Place wrapped shrimp on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast in oven until shrimp is fully cooked (about 8-10 minutes).

So bad for you.

I totally win.

By the by, since these are both basically my recipes and this is my blog, I totally won the Shrimp Smackdown.  Suck it, K!


  1. Ok, these both sound SOOOOO good! I might have to try the heart-attack inducing Bacon-wrapped shrimp one night this week!

  2. Everything is better with bacon. Just wait till I get around to posting my pork wrapped in bacon's swine overkill!