I was talking with a friend the other day about the stuffed sweet peppers when she said “you don’t just have to stuff peppers with it, you can stuff all kinds of things, mushrooms, shrimp…” – Those are not her exact words, but her words stuff and shrimp were the catalyst of tonight’s dinner.
When Michael and May asked “What’s for dinner?” I told them stuffed shrimp. I added down and dirty when I realized that I had not left my cream cheese to soften long enough. I ended up re-gloving up and mashing it all with my hands. It was a dirty job but the shrimp weren’t going to wait forever.
Ingredients: 1 pound medium shrimp (or what ever size you prefer), 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, 1 stalk celery (chopped), 4 thick cut slices of bacon (chopped and fried softly), the spices of choice today were lemon pepper and Tony Chachere’s, and a little canned Parmesan for dusting.
Step 1: Take your first 12 shrimp, peel devein, and chop them up, place the bits in a medium bowl (if using medium, 3 – 4 ounces if using another size). Peel, devein, and butterfly* the remaining shrimp, it helps if as you butterfly them you place them on your cookie sheet, baking dish or pizza pan. The photo above is how I peel them, if it helps. *The easiest way to tell you how to butterfly them if you’ve never done it is to just show you, so see my attempt below:
Preheat your oven to 350°.
In the bowl with your shrimp bits, add the cream cheese, bacon, celery, and spices. If it is softened, mix well with a fork. If not, glove up buttercup! Get your hands in there and mash it all around.
Even if your cream cheese is softened, stuffing shrimp is no neat little task. While I did use my handy dandy cookie scoop to dollop atop each shrimp, I still had to pick them up one by one and mash it down. The mess has really got to be the love part of a recipe because if I didn’t love them I would have fed them take out!
Once your oven is at 350°, your shrimp stuffing is squished in there good, you are ready to put them in the oven. Putting them in the middle works for me. If I’m cooking other things though, I would put them on top instead of bottom. Bake for 25 minutes and remove from heat. Serve them immediately with your favorite side, or in our case, fried cabbage.