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Bacon-Wrapped Buffalo Shrimp

Don't Miss Out on This Game-Day-Worthy Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp Recipe

The following post was originally featured on Cooking For Keeps and written by Nicole Shoemaker, who is part of POPSUGAR Select Food.

I'm throwing caution to the wind and breaking out every single reindeer, Santa, and Christmas decoration I own this weekend. I was a little wary to actually tell people, afraid I'd get that judgmental "you're seriously insane" look people tend to give when the holidays are celebrated a little bit prematurely. But I've seen others doing the same, so I'm unabashedly hopping on the bandwagon. And, honestly, with each passing day, Mother Nature is telling me it's time. If it's going to be negative infinity degrees, I might as well fill my home with holiday cheer to lift my spirits that have been deafened by the bitter cold.

I won't bore you with details on how the holidays are my favorite time of year. Or how I could listen to Christmas music 24/7 for eternity and never get tired of it. Or how much I love to get dressed up to the nines for all the holiday parties we attend. Or even how much I love finding the perfect gift for friends and family. Nope, I'll bore you with those details at a later time.

Right now I'll only bore you with details on how I consumed an entire batch of these buffalo bacon-wrapped shrimp in one swift sitting. I mean, bacon-wrapped shrimp alone are something that no human can resist, but throw on a bunch of Frank's RedHot sauce, and you've got yourself a major addiction problem.

You'd think bacon-wrapped shrimp would be rather straightforward and simple, but I can't even tell you have many times I've had it at a party or restaurant, and it's been seriously lackluster. The problem? Half the time the bacon is still limp and not even remotely crisp. It's a tricky thing to master especially since shrimp cook so fast, and bacon, well, doesn't. Bacon needs time to render out its fat, so if you put a giant hunk of it around a piece of shrimp, it's going to take eons to get that super crispy texture we all love.

From what I've found, the key is to take very thin pieces of bacon (I like to use center-cut, reduced-fat bacon), cut them into thirds lengthwise so each piece is super skinny, and COMPLETELY and TIGHTLY wrap each piece around the shrimp, but DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT overlap the bacon on itself. Cooking the shrimp on a cookie cooling rack set on top of a baking sheet allows for the fat to drip down below, facilitating in perfectly crispy bacon every time.

So now that I've rambled on for exactly 182 words on how to perfectly wrap bacon around shrimp, we can talk about the buffalo portion of this three-ingredient appetizer. Buffalo sauce comes into play three ways: first, the shrimp are marinated in the buffalo sauce prior to being wrapped in bacon; second, the bacon is coated in the hot sauce; and third, once the shrimp come out of the oven, they're brushed one last time with it.

I know we're all focused on Thanksgiving and Christmas (guilty!), but these guys were just too good and simple to wait until after the holidays to share. Plus, we're still deep into football season, so I know you have a reason to make them — don't wait!

Bacon-Wrapped Buffalo Shrimp

From Cooking for Keeps

Bacon-Wrapped Buffalo Shrimp

Ingredients

  1. 1/2 pound shrimp
    3/4 cup hot sauce (I use Frank's RedHot)
    5 slices thinly sliced center-cut bacon
    Blue cheese or ranch dressing, for dipping, optional
    Sliced green onions, for garnish, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Set a cooling rack inside a half-sheet pan.
  2. Gently toss the shrimp with 1/2 cup hot sauce in a large mixing bowl. Marinate for 15 minutes.
  3. Cut bacon in thirds length-wise. Wrap around each piece of shrimp, and secure with a toothpick.
  4. Arrange shrimp on the cooling-rack-lined half-sheet pan. Bake about 20 minutes or until bacon is crispy, flipping halfway through cooking.
  5. Brush hot shrimp with remaining hot sauce.
  6. Serve with blue cheese or ranch dressing. Garnish with green onion, if using.
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