Holiday parties call for tasty recipes that will leave your guests in a festive mood and with a satisfied palate. This year we decided to feature low-carb appetizers in a smorgasboard style as our theme – just low-carb and tasty! At the top of our list was our Chipotle Lime Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp. We have hosted a neighborhood party in mid-December for many years, regardless of where we call home. Our neighbors are truly the best so we consider this get-together the highlight of our year!
In addition to our bacon-wrapped shrimp, we featured our Swedish Meatballs and our Chicken Bacon Ranch Flatbread topped with slivered onions. We also made a Peach Bellini with peach vodka, peach Schnapps, and Prosecco. That broke from our low-carb theme, but for those of us who stayed low carb we also had plenty of low-carb beer. Sometimes you have to “play-to-your-crowd” as they say, and we had guests who are not adhering to a low-carb lifestyle. We did try to convert them!
But, let’s get back to the Chipotle Lime Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp. This one is at the top of our list. Everything is better with bacon and the chipotle and lime marinade gave this dish a real Southwestern taste.
Our ingredient list is so simple – just four main items. Shrimp, bacon, limes, and chipotle seasoning are all you need for a perfect appetizer or main dish. So much flavor and really only a carb per appetizer!
We prefer U20 shrimp for this recipe (20 per pound) since the bacon will wrap around easier before cooking. You may have to increase the oven time by a minute or so if you use 15 per pound, as they are larger. We would stress using a thin-cut bacon. A thicker cut would be more difficult to wrap and may also overpower the flavor of the seafood.
Fresh limes are a must since you not only need the zest, but the fresh lime juice is important to give your marinade a real citrus flavor. A good extra virgin olive oil will help in cooking evenly and allowing the seasonings to stick to each shrimp skewer. We also use a quality chipotle seasoning powder. You can substitute adobo sauce or even a smoked paprika or creole seasoning as an alternative. However, we find that chipotle seasoning works best.
We like to brine our shrimp for 1/2 hour before baking with the bacon. It is a simple technique and it allows them to stay plump and straight. That is important when wrapping with bacon. We included a simple brine in the recipe below that consists of water, sea salt, and low-carb sweetener (Swerve or Erythritol). Make sure you include ice cubes in your brine so your shrimp does not begin to cook in the salted water.
We also pre-cook the bacon in the microwave between paper towels for 90 seconds. We cut our bacon in half and then microwaved four strips at a time. If you cut the number of strips then cut the time. You are just looking for a pliable bacon strip that is partly cooked. If you skip this procedure your shrimp will be overcooked by the time the bacon crisps in the oven. Just be careful since the paper towels will absorb a lot of fat and may cause a burn – change the paper towels often if you cook a larger batch.
The lime zest and juice add so much flavor to the marinade and go so well with the chipotle seasoning. Make sure you coat all the raw shrimp with the marinade and even drizzle any remaining over the shrimp before baking. When the bacon crisps the appetizer should be done.
Our neighbors enjoyed our low-carb smorgasbord appetizer holiday party and we enjoyed their company. Maybe it had something to do with the peach Bellini cocktails, but we all had a great time. We know you will enjoy your holidays a bit more or any day for that matter if you give our Chipotle Lime Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp appetizer a try. It is definitely Tasty Low Carb!
- Whisk together brining ingredients until dissolved. Add the ice and shrimp and let sit for 30 minutes. Dry on paper towels.
- In a medium bowl mis the lime zest, juice, olive oil and chipotle powder. Toss the shrimp in the marinade and coat thoroughly.
- Spread the bacon (4 pieces at a time) over a few layers of paper towels and cover with another layer of paper towel. Microwave until the fat begins to melt and bacon is par-cooked, we did so for 1 1/2 minutes.
- Wrap the cooked bacon around the shrimp and hold together with a wooden toothpick.
- Place the bacon-wrapped shrimp on cooling rack inside a foil lined baking pan and bake in a 450 degree oven for 5-6 minutes until the shrimp is cooked through and bacon is crisp. Do not overcook.