If you’ve ever had bacon wrapped shrimp, you know it’s an unholy alliance that makes your taste buds feel like they have committed a cardinal sin behind closed doors. There are many variations I suppose on how to mate sea and swine, but I did what I thought would be the simplest. Instead of actually wrapping raw bacon around raw shrimp, attached by toothpick and broiled, I opted to cook the bacon and shrimp separately.
One of the reasons I tried this is many a time I’ve had underdone bacon wrapped around overdone shrimp. So why not cook them separately in the manner and time that suits the bacon and shrimp best? I cooked the bacon first using my low and slow method (as mentioned in a previous post) giving it a head start. Once the bacon was cooked, I then cooked the shrimp in the bacon drippings. Now here’s the first part of the goof part-I used a peppered bacon. I got that bacon just because it was the leanest package I could find. That was my second mistake. If the bacon is too lean it won’t wrap around the shrimp (d’oh!). The pepper goof is that the pepper is too strong and overwhelms the delicate flavor of the shrimp. And you also don’t want to use a thick slice bacon because it will be too thick to wrap properly and it will probably be too strong in flavor.
One thing that might help is to blanch the bacon before cooking it as that will reduce the salt and smoke content and make the bacon milder in flavor. OK, now you know how not to do it.