Last week, Natalie bacon wrote a fantastic article about the wonders of the bacon and shrimp tango. She mentioned a few ways in which one could make this magical combination happened. Bacon wrapped shrimp, shrimp BLTs, bacon and shrimp salad; these were just some of the combinations that she stewed up, but I thought I’d go with something a little bit different. How about we take it to the island, kick it up a few notches at blast your pallet with some Jerk Shrimp. I love spicy stuff, and this has the potential to be kind of ridiculous!

Ingredients:

4 strips Maple Leaf Bacon

1 lb Shrimp, deveined

2 cloves Garlic

2 or 3 Hot Chilies

1 tbsp Ground Allspice

1 tbsp Ground Cinnamon

1 tbsp Ground Ginger

1 tbsp Dried Thyme

1 tsp Ground Nutmeg

1 tsp Brown Sugar

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Black Pepper

3 tbsp Good quality Dark Rum

Directions:

1. First thing we need to get out of the way is to make our Jerk spice mixture. Combine everything from the Allspice (the quintessential Jerk flavour) to the black pepper. Now, you could just buy one of these in the store, but you don’t get the satisfaction of saying that, yes, this is MY spice mixture. Since I have a well-stocked spice cabinet, I already had all of the ingredients, so it was just a matter of throwing everything together. Give this a good stirring and make sure to break up any clumps that might exist.

2. Dump your shrimp into a bowl and cover with a couple tablespoons of your homemade jerk seasoning. Toss this around to coat and let it sit while you prepare the rest of this delicious dish.

3. Grab your chilies and garlic, and chop them up nice and fine. We want these to disappear into the shrimp, but leave their wonderful flavour and aroma.

4. Take your four strips of bacon, pulse them up in a food processor and fry it until it’s crispy. I’ve come to the realization that there is no good way to photograph raw, ground up bacon and make it look appetizing. My sincere apologies. I’ll keep working on that.


5.
Once the bacon is crispy, toss in your garlic and chilies and stir it around for about 15-30 seconds until it is remarkably fragrant. It should hit you right in the face.

6. Toss in your shrimp and continue to fry. After 1 or 2 minutes, throw in your rum, and pop a lid on the pan. Let them steam for a couple minutes, then take the lid back off and let the rum evaporate. It will leave behind a gorgeous sweetness that regular sugar just doesn’t provide. And please, for the love of all things Jamaican, please use a quality Jamaican dark rum.

7. Once the shrimp is pink, it’s done! Plate and top with some green onions for garnish. For some reason, my local grocery store was out of green onions, so I just used some parsley from my garden. Green onions are the way to go, though. Be careful. This dish is spicy! So grab your towel and a big Jamaican Rum Punch and chow down!