Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Bacon Garlic Shrimp
Ever have one of those days when you have absolutely no idea what you're going to make for dinner? You dig around in the refrigerator for a few moments, dash about in the kitchen for a half hour or so and then, suddenly, you've just thrown together something amazing? Well, that's exactly how this recipe came about. Those of you who are geniuses in the kitchen might have this experience on a regular basis, but it's still rare enough for me to be really exciting!
I knew I wanted seafood and that we had a few strips of bacon to use up, but the rest was just sheer luck and a bit of magic from the Flavor Bible. Unfortunately, when I'm cooking 'just for us,' I rarely measure or write anything down, so my recipes are always full of arcane terms like 'a pinch,' 'a smattering,' or 'to taste.' Thankfully, I think this recipe will be quite forgiving. It's one of those dishes that is simple enough to pull together on a weeknight, but luxurious enough to make you dearly wish for a weekend and a glass of wine. Delicious!
Bacon Garlic Shrimp
makes two very generous servings
5 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed and roughly chopped
1 medium onion, diced
4 strips bacon
5 oz mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup dry white wine (optional)
14 oz shrimp, peeled and cooked
1/2 bay leaf (thank you, Flavor Bible)
Pinch of marjoram
A Jolt (my term, which equates to about a tablespoon or two) of lemon juice
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a skillet or large frying pan, cook bacon until browned on both sides and slightly crispy. I usually use a napkin to sop up most of the grease, but you should leave a tablespoon or two in which to cook your onions and garlic. Remove cooked bacon to a napkin-lined plate and press to remove excess fat. Using your hands or a pair of kitchen shears, cut bacon into small pieces. Set aside.
Heat the remaining bacon fat and add chopped onions and garlic to cook at medium heat. When onions are slightly browned and garlic becomes aromatic, add sliced mushrooms. Cook until slightly soft. Add shrimp, bay leaf, marjoram and wine, if preferred. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add half of the reserved bacon and stir to distribute. Cook until liquid is reduced to a thin sauce, taking care not to overcook the shrimp. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Garnish with remaining crispy bacon and serve immediately over pasta or as an accompaniment to a creamy risotto.
A few notes: This dish really does feel like a fancy, date-night-worthy effort - which is great, since it really couldn't be any easier to throw together! I made ours without wine, but I imagine this would make the meal even more delectable. If anyone tries it, they'll have to let me know!
This dish tastes wonderfully buttery - which is funny since there isn't any butter in it at all. I guess that must be the magic of the bacon fat. Anyone who knows me knows that I have quite an irrational distaste for greases and fats (Matt always laughs at me for blotting my foods, but I hate the feel of fat in my mouth!) but in this case, it really makes the recipe. There are no other added oils so maybe - fingers crossed - it's not as bad for you as it sounds. In any case, it's totally worth the indulgence. I did not want to stop eating this meal and, even thought it makes me an extremely bad wife and possibly a bad person for saying this - I kind of wished I didn't have to share it, either! Of course, now that we've discovered this winning combination, I'm sure I'll be making it more often - for both of us - in the future.
This recipe is linked at:
33 Shades of Green: Tasty Tuesdays
Lady Behind the Curtain: Cast Party Wednesday
Miz Helen's Country Cottage: Full Plate Thursday
This Chick Cooks: These Chicks Cooked