Valentine’s Day Appetizers: BBQ Bacon Shrimp and Twice-baked Mini potatoes

12 Feb

Looking to score some points with your main squeeze? Is going out putting a strain on the old finances? Well, the Culinary Chick is looking out for you.

Here are two simple, yet elegant appetizers to win the favor of your intended. They also are siutable for that cocktail party or sporting event at your house.

If you plan to serve these two together; prep the shrimp and set aside. Make the twice-baked first and when cooking them for the final time, put the shrimp in the oven.

Bacon-wrapped BBQ shrimp ( Serves two)

1/2 lb.   either U/15 or 16-20 shrimp (about eight shrimp)

4 strips of raw bacon ( no turkey bacon, please!)

1/2 cup to 3/4 cup your favorite BBQ sauce

Four 6-inch bamboo skewers

Soak skewers in cold water for 30 minutes.  Heat oven to 400 °. While skewers are soaking, assemble the shrimp.

Peel, devein ( see video for help) shrimp and set aside. Wash all surfaces with warm, soapy water before cutting bacon to avoid cross-contamination.  Cut each piece of bacon in half crosswise.   Bend each shrimp so that the top end of the shrimp touches the bottom ( in a circular shape). Wrap each shrimp in the piece if bacon so that the beginning and end of each piece of bacon is on the side of the shrimp. Drain and pat dry the wooden skewers, then skewer each shrimp through the ends of the bacon, two shrimp for each skewer. Place  shrimp on oiled cookie sheet and bake in oven for six minutes. When bacon begins to brown, baste each skewer with the BBQ sauce. Shrimp are done when bacon is brown and sauce thickens on shripm, about 10 minutes.

Twice- Baked Yukon Gold Potatoes ( serves two)

I lb. yukon gold potatoes ( see note)

1 tbl. vegetable oil

1 tbl. unsalted butter, melted

2-4 tbl milk or sour cream

Salt and pepper

2 tbl fresh chives

1/4 cup grated white cheddar, fontina, or swiss cheese

**Note:   when selecting the yukon gold potatoes, keep in mind when cut in half , they should be large enough to be eaten in 2 bites; no larger.

Preheat oven to 400°.  Select four potatoes, then wash and pat dry. Pierce each potatoes with the tines of a fork three or four times. Rub each one with vegetable oil and bake unitl tender, about 25 minutes. remove from oven and cool.

When potatoes are warm to the touch and easy to handle, cut three of the potatoes lenghtwise and set aside. Peel the fourth potato and dice, placing in mixing bowl. With a spoon, carefully scoop out the remaining potato halves, leaving the skin and some of the flesh intact, the goal is having a shell to put the mashed potatoes back in. Place the potatoes innards with the diced potatoes in the bowl.

In the bowl with the potato scraps, add milk or sour cream, butter, chives and mash until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Stuff potato shells with the mashed potato mixture and top with the grated cheese. Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until hot, and cheese is bubbly on top.

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