Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Shrimp

Stuffing shrimp is a hell of a lot harder and more time-consuming than I imagined when I was hanging out by the seafood counter figuring out what to make for dinner.  It's recipes like this that make me wish I had an island in my kitchen with stools so I could sit down while tediously stuffing.  It took me about an hour, maybe longer, to complete this dish from start to finish, but it was SO worth it in the end.  I know most people like their crab stuffing to be simple, without the extra flavors of peppers, pimentos, etc. but I'm not a true Marylander, and I like to add lots of fun to my stuffing. Enjoy!

What You'll Need:
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon roasted red peppers, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons juice from lemon, divided
  • 1/4 cup Marsala wine
  • 1 pound crab meat, backfin or claw meat is best for stuffing
  • 1/4 cup croutons (I used butter/garlic croutons), crushed
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 pound 16/20 raw shrimp, peeled (tail-on)
  • 16-20 slices regular-cut bacon
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives

1.  Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a frying pan.  To the oil, add green pepper, celery, and roasted red peppers.  Saute until vegetables become soft.  Add mustard, salt and pepper, and 1/2 the lemon juice, and stir to combine.  Deglaze with Marsala wine, and reduce until the wine has cooked out.  Transfer ingredients to a bowl and refrigerate until cool.

2.  Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, fold together crab meat, crushed croutons, Old Bay, parsley, egg, and mayo.  Be careful not to break up the crab meat any further, or it just becomes mush.  When everything is incorporated, and the stovetop ingredients have cooled, mix everything together.

3.  Now comes the hard part, in my opinion.  Lay your shrimp on a cutting board, upside down, so the tail is facing down.  Using a very sharp paring knife, slice down the back of the shrimp, careful not to cut through.  Flatten to the cutting board, so you have a butterflied shrimp.  Lay the stuffing on top of the butterflied shrimp.  Take a piece of bacon and wrap all the way around the shrimp.  This will secure the stuffing, and make it taste a million times better, because... bacon.  Repeat over and over until all shrimp are stuffed and wrapped.

4.  Using the same pan that you cooked the vegetables in, coat with the rest of the oil.  Heat the oil and lay a few shrimp in the pan at a time.  Sear each side of the shrimp until the bacon is crisp all the way around.  Transfer to a plate, and repeat until all shrimp are finished.

5.  In the empty pan, deglaze with white wine.  Add the butter and the rest of the lemon to the pan and simmer until butter has melted.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Finish with the chives, and spoon over shrimp before serving.  Enjoy the heck outta this one!!


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