Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bacon Cups with Shrimp

Bacon appetizer recipe, shrimp appetizer recipe,
It was Valentines Day and I was making a salmon dinner for the hubby but also thought I'd make an appetizer that contained two of his favorite ingredients; garlic and bacon. I thought an appetizer that that also included shrimp would be the perfect compliment to the salmon.

I told him when I got home that I had a nice appetizer surprise for him.  I wanted to make it very simple as well as delectable since I wanted to spend more time with him then in my kitchen. The shrimp is the hidden jewel of this appetizer as it is tucked away under the breadcrumb and cheese mix. A nice sweet surprise in the bacon cup.

This simple recipe has just a few ingredients and all you need for baking is a mini muffin pan so each one is bite sized. Great for portion control right?  You can adjust the recipe up or down depending on how many cups you want to make. Since I had a salmon dinner planned, I just made enough for 6.  

Shrimp and Bacon Cup Ingredients

3 strips of bacon
6 medium shrimp
1/4 cup of cheddar cheese
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 large clove of garlic, chopped
1 Tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon of melted butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the bacon in half and press it into the mini muffin cups. I used a maple flavor bacon this time to give it some extra sweetness for my sweetie.  Since I was only making 6 cups and bacon can be greasy, I set them a cup apart from each other. I also put the muffin tin on a cookie sheet so if any grease spills, it does not require me to scrub the oven. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes; 15 if thin sliced bacon, 20 if a thicker cut. I prefer a thin cut for this, but it's also up to you. Meanwhile, mix the cheese, breadcrumbs, garlic and Parmesan in a small mixing bowl. I only had chunk cheese so I used a lemon zester for a finely grated cheese. Add the melted butter until it's moist but not runny.
Once the bacon is done, dab each cup with a paper towel to remove any excess grease. You certainly do not want an overpowering taste of bacon, but just enough so the other food flavors shine through.
Then lay a shrimp into the middle of each bacon cup. This is the hidden gem that will make their eyes pop and taste buds dance! Then cover the shrimp with the breadcrumb mix and press down until firmly packed.

Bake for 20 minutes at 350. The aroma of bacon and garlic will fill the whole house!
When hubby cut into his appetizer he was greeted with a pleasant surprise of shrimp! The fusion of flavors from the saltiness of the bacon to the savory garlic to the sweet shrimp was a treat for the taste buds. He said I can make these any time I want to. They are perfect for a party appetizer or for next years Super Bowl party.
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