Shrimp and Andouille Sausage

     I’m a little bit behind. You see…this meal was actually cooked last Thursday night, but some moron I went and left the card from my camera at home Friday and then the weekend came and you know how that goes. But I am finally getting around to posting about it.

     Across the country, the weather is getting nice. Yards are turning green, flowers are blooming and men are dragging their grills out of storage and cleaning off the patio furniture. If you follow this blog at all, though, you know our Egg never gets put away. No, we pretty much grill and barbecue year round, in good and bad weather. But our flowers are starting to bloom.

Flowers in Bloom

     After seeing BigTex33 post his Brochette Shrimp on The Egghead Forum last week, I knew I was going to have to cook some up. Shrimp is good, but bacon wrapped shrimp stuffed with pepper jack cheese and a sliver of jalapeno? Common! What is not to like about that? Mrs. G and I grew up eating these at Water Street Oyster Bar in Corpus. They used to be called Shrimp en Brochette there (now they are called Mesquite Grilled Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Shrimp). You can also find them at Pappadeaux or Pappasito’s where they are simply called Shrimp Brochette. Or you could just make them up at home, they are simple to do and you’d save yourself a bunch of moolah.

     So what does brochette mean? It’s a  French word that means skewered or on a spit. Whether they are called Shrimp En Brochette, Shrimp Brochette or Brochette Shrimp, I don’t know. Call them what you will, I’m not going to argue with you as long as you don’t try to steal one off my plate.

Prepping the Shrimp

     The first thing you want to do is get the biggest possible shrimp you can find. Wish I would have done that, but I just pulled some out of the freezer. I think they were in the 31-35 range (Large) which would give you exactly what it says….31 to 35 shrimp per pound.

     Next, you are going to want to butterfly the shrimp by carefully cutting through them until they lay flat. Make sure not to cut all they way through. If not already done for you, remove the sand vein ( a euphemism for the digestive tract or poop shoot, not good eats at all).

     Now, you will want to place a sliver of jalapeno and a slice of pepper jack cheese inside the shrimp. How big a slice will depend on the size of your shrimp.

Shrimp Wrapped in Bacon

     Once you have stuffed your shrimp, it is time to wrap in bacon….almost. First, you are going to want to slice your bacon in half and then you are going to want to pre-cook it. I did this by sticking it in the microwave for about a minute and a half. How long is going to depend on your microwave, but you want the bacon to still be pliable so you can wrap it around your shrimp. This is a very important step. Shrimp cooks much faster than bacon, so if you want them done at the same time, better pre-cook that bacon. Wrap that pre-cooked bacon around the shrimp and then either secure it with a toothpick or you can use some skewers and do a few shrimp per skewer.

     After wrapping and skewering your shrimp, I recommend sprinkling some of you favorite Cajun seasoning on top. I used Swamp Venom from Dizzy Pig, but Tony Cachere’s or other brands will work out just as well. At this point, you can grill the shrimp or return them to the refrigerator until you are ready.

     You might have noticed that there are only 10 Shrimp En Brochettes there. And you might be thinking “That can’t be enough for you and Mrs. G.” Well, you are right, but I ran out of bacon. Whoops. So I took some more shrimp, dumped on some Zesty Italian Seasoning and a healthy tablespoon or two of Cajun seasoning and then let them marinade for about 2 hours. What no pictures? Common, it’s a pretty simple way to prep shrimp and I’m sure you have seen it or done it before. Not very interesting.

     But I did get some corn and prepped it in a way I thought was pretty cool.

Corn Soaking Away

     Not real sure where I got this idea. When I grill corn, I usually like to soak it….if I have the time and don’t forget. I think I remember my dad saying one time, that if you soak corn in milk (or maybe he said boil it, I’m not sure) that it would be sweeter. We just happened to have some cream in the fridge, so I thought why not. I used about 1/4 to a 1/3 a cup of cream, about a 1/4 cup of sugar and then filled the bowl with water. Added the corn to it and let it soak for about 2 hours (this time I had plenty of time). Halfway through, I thought to myself “You should have soaked half and left half alone so that you could compare” but by then it was too late.

Corn and Andouille Sausage

     I set up my Egg for a direct cook and heated it up to 350F (about medium), and started grilling the corn by itself, as it would take the most time. After about 5 minutes or so, I added the sausage.

Grillin’ Away

     Next came the Shrimp En Brochette and some French bread slathered in butter and garlic and parsley. I figured these shrimp would take longer to cook than the plain marinated ones due to the bacon.

Everything Gettin’ Happy, Happy, Happy!

    After a few minutes, the remaining shrimp were added. Shrimp cook fast, so keep an eye on them. A few minutes a side and they are done.

Done!

     Such a simple and tasty meal.  The Shrimp En Brochettes were awesome. The bacon got done at the same time as the shrimp due to pre-cooking it. The jalapeno added just a touch of heat. Seemed like most of the cheese was lost, so maybe I’ll use bigger slices next time.  I will definitely use bigger shrimp. These worked ok, but definitely don’t go any smaller. The corn was fan-tabulous. It tasted fresh and sweet. I don’t know if that was due to the soaking in the cream/water/sugar mixture or if it was just good corn. It’s got me curious and next time I will do half in and half regular so we can do a comparison.

Plated up

     I can see us doing more of these this summer. Once I plated it all up and tasted some, I thought to myself “This kind of reminds me of a shrimp boil…minus the boil! And the taters (which I really don’t care for anyway)” Writing this up has got me hungry again. Wish I had a few more right now to nibble on.

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