I always like to put the word "easy" before the word "entertaining," because I think entertaining should be easy, fuss-free, and uncomplicated, especially for the host or hostess. Making foods that are easy to put together, simple in their essence, and even easier to clean up are the key when entertaining on easy street. That the holidays are still in full swing and New Year's is just around the corner means that there is still time to flex your easy entertaining muscles. Any recipe that can go under the broiler and be done in minutes is my kind of easy. This shrimp hors d'ouevre is just that.
We all are familiar with the old-school appetizers of bacon-wrapped chicken livers, scallops, or dates. Well, there's also bacon-wrapped shrimp. Basically anything wrapped in bacon tastes good, right? These shrimp are jacketed in strips of flavorful applewood-smoked bacon. A dusting of hot paprika also adds to the smoky flavor of the finished bar bite. Clean-up is also made simpler since the pan is lined with foil. These hors d'ouevre are great for parties, especially on New Year's eve. They pair well with a variety of cocktails or a simple glass of bubbly. Now wasn't that entertaining made easy?
1 pound medium shrimp (about 30), shelled and deveined
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot or smoked paprika
5 slices applewood-smoked bacon, cut into 30 strips
30 bamboo cocktail skewers, soaked in water
Preheat broiler to high. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Season shrimp with pepper and paprika. Wrap each shrimp with a small 2-1/2-inch strip of bacon. (One slice of bacon can yield about 6 strips.) Carefully thread with skewer, making sure to pierce through tail of shrimp and bacon. Place skewered shrimp in same direction on prepared baking sheet. Cover exposed skewers with a band of aluminum foil.
Place under broiler for about 2 minutes. Remove pan and turn shrimp over. Reposition band of aluminum foil. Return to broiler for another 2 to 3 minutes or until shrimp are bright pink and bacon looks crisp. Pat shrimp with paper towels before setting on a platter. Serve immediately. Yield: 6 to 8 appetizer servings.