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Football Food- Bacon Shrimp Kabobs

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Bacon Shrimp Kabobs
Bacon Shrimp Kabobs

I have been considering the idea for this series of posts for several weeks now, and after bouncing it off of the rest of the OFD staff I finally decided to throw it out there and see what you all think of it.  We spend a lot of time around here talking about Notre Dame Football and we couldn't be happier with the community that we are continuing to grow here with all of our readers.  So we want to start broadening the scope of our discussions just a tad so that we all have some more stuff to discuss with one another.  

In this series of posts we are going to break it up a little and talk about something a little lighter that is also related to game days.  Football food.  Fall Saturdays are an event in my world, and a large part of that event tends to be food and drink.  Every fall Saturday is like a little mini holiday and we try to do it up right at my house.  So for the remainder of the season I will put up a "Football Food" recipe on Fridays that is easy to whip up in your kitchen, favorite tailgate spot or both.

Since this first installment happens to coincide with the Navy game I thought a recipe involving sea creatures of some kind would be appropriate.  Squid would have been more fitting but I'm not a fan of the slime.  So shrimp it is.  

Recipe after the jump

Ingredients

2lbs Jumbo Shrimp (Approx 50 shrimp)

16oz of your favorite Italian Dressing (Reduced or Low Fat variants still do fine on the grill)

1lb bacon

4-5 Jalapenos or Green Chiles (optional)

*Approximate yield will be 8 kabobs

Directions

Shell and de-vane your crustaceans.  

Once shelled dump the shrimp in a bowl and marinade them in the Italian dressing.

Cut the pound of bacon in half to create strips that are approximately 6 inches long.

Place the bacon on a paper plate with a pile of paper towels underneath it and microwave it on high for approximately 2 minutes.  The goal here is for the bacon to be about half cooked but still completely flexible.  So keep an eye on it while it cooks as all microwaves are different.  You want the bacon half cooked before building the kabobs because the shrimp will actually cook faster than the bacon once the kabobs are on the grill.

Take the shrimp and wrap one of those half strips of bacon around each shrimp then place it on the skewer so that the skewer holds the bacon in place.  Once you have 6-7 bacon wrapped shrimp on the skewer it should be full.

*If you want to spice this recipe up cut your Jalapenos or green chiles into strips.  Either choice is fantastic.  Lay one of those strips of jalapeno or green chile on each shrimp then wrap a half strip of bacon around both of them to hold the jalepeno/ green chile strip in there next to the shrimp.  

Once your skewers are built fire your grill up to approx 350 deg.

These shrimp are going to cook fast so be organized and ready.  The combination of the Italian dressing and bacon grease should prevent them from sticking to your grill.  

Put the skewers on the grill, give them a quick basting with the Italian dressing that was left in your marinade bowl and close it.  At 4-5 minutes flip them once for another 4-5 minutes.  The bacon will finish cooking as the shrimp turn a nice pink color.  

You are ready to feast.  Shrimp Kabobs are awesome.  Shrimp Kabobs smothered in Italian Dressing and wrapped in bacon with a slice of jalapeno or green chile will change your life.  You can thank me on Sunday.  Any self respecting seafood restaurant would charge you at least $25 for one of these bad boys.  Prepare for your friends and family to marvel at your culinary genius.

A nice side dish for these is grilled zucchini.  Vegetables make you feel a little less guilty for going big on the kabobs.  I like to quarter my zucchini and just give it a quick brush of olive oil as I lay it on the grill.  Conveniently it needs to cook for approximately 5minutes a side as well so you can cook them simultaneously with the shrimp on your grill.  

These bacon shrimp kabobs are easy to make and quite fantastic.  

Side Notes and Tailgate Specifics

Don't skimp on the ingredients here.  Buy fresh shrimp if able and if you can't because you are landlocked and fresh shrimp cost more than your house payment be sure the frozen ones are completely thawed before you put them on the grill.  If they aren't your timing will get all messed up and you will either end up with shrimp that are cold in the middle or burnt bacon!  Also don't skimp on the bacon.  Buy the high end kind that isn't 80% fat, it cooks better on the grill and brings more flavor to the table.  More meat!

If you are going to cook these at a tailgate I suggest you build the kabobs at home and transport them in a tupperware container smothered in the Italian dressing that you originally used to marinade the shrimp.  Then once on site all you have to do is pull them out and throw them on the grill.

What are you whipping up this Saturday?  Let us know in the comments.