Red Lobster Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Shrimp
It’s shrimp, it’s bacon, it’s cheese; what’s not to like? It’s one of the latest tasty appetizers on the Red Lobster menu, and now you can dupe it at home. Find some large shrimp, a wooden skewer, and cook the bacon about halfway to done before you begin. Mix up a clone of Red Lobster’s top secret seasoning and the cilantro-ranch dipping sauce, and you’re minutes away from scarfing down a delectable dish that’s meant to be a teaser for what’s to come. Looks like you’d better make the main coarse a real doozy.
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
dash ground black pepper
dash cayenne pepper
1/3 cup ranch dressing
1/4 teaspoon dried cilantro
(or 1/2 teaspoon fresh minced cilantro)
5 pieces bacon
5 large shrimp
3 slices fresh jalapeno
1 ounce pepper jack cheese
1. Preheat oven to broil.
2. Make the seasoning blend by combining the ingredients in a small bowl. Set this aside.
3. Make the dipping sauce by combining the ranch dressing with cilantro in a medium bowl.
4. Cook the bacon in a frying pan over medium/high heat, but don’t cook it all the way to crispy. You want undercooked bacon that, when cool, will easily wrap around the shrimp. Cook the bacon about 3 minutes per side, and don’t let it brown. When the bacon is done lay it on paper towels to drain and cool.
5. Shell the shrimp, leaving the last segment of the shell and the tail. Remove the dark vein from the back of the shrimp, and then cut down into the back of the shrimp, without cutting all the way through, so that the shrimp is nearly butterflied open. This will make a pocket for the pepper and cheese.
6. Pour 1 cup of water into a small bowl. Add the shrimp and jalapeno peppers and microwave for 60 to 90 seconds. Shrimp should be starting to firm up and change color. Immediately pour the water out of the bowl, remove the jalapeno slices and pour cold water over the shrimp. Place the the shrimp and jalapeno pepper slices onto paper towels to drain off excess water.
7. Build the appetizer by cutting the jalapeno slices in half and removing the seeds. You should now have 6 jalapeno slices — you’ll need 5 of these. Place one slice into the slit on the back of a shrimp. Cut an inch-long chunk of cheese (about 1/4-inch thick), and place it on the jalapeno slice. Wrap a piece of bacon around the shrimp, starting where the cheese is. Start wrapping with the thinnest end of the bacon. Go 1 1/2 times around the shrimp and then cut of the excess bacon and slide a skewer through the shrimp, starting with the end where the cheese is and piercing the cut end of the bacon on the other side. Repeat with the remaining shrimp and slide them onto the skewer with the tails facing the same direction.
8. Put the skewer onto a baking sheet or broiler pan and sprinkle a very light coating of the seasoning blend over the shrimp, then broil for 3 to 4 minutes or until the bacon begins to brown and the cheese begins to ooze. Serve over a bed of rice if desired. Feed the left over bacon pieces to the dog while you scarf out on the shrimp. (http://www.topsecretrecipes.com)
Serves 2 as an appetizer.