I have to say, if there is one thing that is versatile and easy to cook, shrimp is one food that is at the top of my list. Don’t get me wrong, I fire up my grills year round even through the cold New York winters, but shrimp can just as easily be cooked on the stove or in the oven as well. Sweet Baby Ray’s wide varieties of BBQ sauces make it even easier to make a great dinner for your family in no time at all. The beauty of a store bought BBQ sauce is that you can find a flavor you enjoy and then add just a few simple ingredients to make it your own. For this recipe I decided to use Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory & Brown Sugar BBQ Sauce as the base.
I thought it would be fun to kick this sauce up a bit with a wonderful combination of bacon and bourbon. I mean seriously though, is there a more heavenly combination than this? Well possibly but I know my friends and family are big fans for sure. To get started on the sauce, first fry up at least 5 slices of thick cut bacon for the recipe and well, as much extra as you want because let’s be real here. I know I don’t have the will power to fry some bacon and not eat at least a couple pieces of it!
This bacon is going to get chopped up as a topping for the shrimp. Make sure you hide it from potential bacon thieves in your house. You’ve been warned!
A couple tablespoons of the leftover bacon fat will be reserved from the pan the bacon was fried in, and used to cook onion, garlic, and thyme. This is all simmered with some bourbon and the Sweet Baby Rays Hickory & Brown Sugar BBQ sauce. This sauce can even be made a couple days ahead and stored in the refrigerator to make for an even quicker preparation the day you plan to make this meal.
For the next step, I picked out some beautiful, fresh, jumbo shrimp.
I then peeled and deveined the shrimp, and put them on skewers. After setting my grill for medium heat, I grilled them for a few minutes on each side before basting them with the BBQ sauce that I made.
Cook for a couple minutes more on each side and until the center of the shrimp is opaque and cooked throughout. After removing the shrimp from the skewers, sprinkle them with the chopped bacon.
If you’ve never had Grilled Mexican Style corn, are you missing out! Making it is really easy and your friends and family will love you for sharing it with them.
In a small bowl, mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic, and ancho chili powder are mixed until combined. Set this aside while the corn is grilled.
Fresh corn on the cob is husked then grilled over high heat until cooked and slightly charred in spots. I love cooking over charcoal or a wood fire, but if you don’t have a grill you can surely cook the corn indoors and apply the same topping.
After the corn is finished grilling, that lovely mixture you just made is slathered all over the corn and topped with crumbled cotija cheese, fresh cilantro, and some more ancho chili powder. I can’t express to you how much I love corn prepared this way. The flavor from the grill, the creamy sauce, the smoky ancho chili powder, fresh cilantro, cotija, and a squeeze of fresh lime just comes together in a synergistic way to blow your mind. Serve this corn with the shrimp and it’s one delicious meal your family is sure to love.
Bourbon Bacon BBQ Shrimp & Grilled Mexican Style Corn
Makes 4 servings
Cook time: 30-45 minutes
Bourbon Bacon BBQ Shrimp
1 1/2 lb jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup Sweet Baby Rays Hickory & Brown Sugar BBQ sauce
1/3 cup bourbon
5 slices of thick cut bacon
½ small onion (about ¼ cup) finely minced
¼ tsp ground thyme (or ½ tsp thyme leaves)
1 tsp fresh garlic minced
Preheat skillet to medium heat then add bacon and fry, turning occasionally until crisp. When done, put bacon on paper towels to drain off extra grease. Reserve 2 tbsp of the grease from the pan and put in a small sauce pan. When bacon is cool, chop into small pieces and set aside.
Warm bacon grease over low/medium heat and add onion. Continue to cook until translucent and fragrant. Add fresh garlic and thyme, stir and continue to cook for 1 minute.
Add bourbon to sauce pan and stir. Heat to a low simmer and continue to cook for 3 minutes.
Add Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory and Brown Sugar BBQ sauce, and continue to stir on low for approximately 5 minutes.
Remove sauce from heat and set aside.
Preheat grill for medium heat, and lightly oil the grill grate. Place shrimp directly on the grill if large enough or thread shrimp onto skewers, piercing once near the tail and one end near the head.
Cook shrimp for 3 minutes on each side, then baste the shrimp with the BBQ sauce on both sides. Continue to cook for about 2 more minutes per side or until center of shrimp is opaque and cooked throughout.
Garnish grilled shrimp with the chopped bacon and serve immediately.
Grilled Mexican Style Corn
6 ears of sweet corn with husks removed or tied back
3/4 cup of mayonnaise
¼ cup sour cream (may substitute Mexican crema)
2 tsp minced garlic
¾ cup cotija cheese crumbled (queso fresco or feta may be used as an alternative)
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp ancho chili power
1 lime (cut into wedges)
Preheat grill to high heat.
Mix mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic, and 1 tsp of the ancho chili powder in a small bowl and set aside.
Lightly oil grill grate and place ears of corn on the grill. Rotate ears of corn until slightly charred in spots on all sides until cooked through (approximately 8-10 minutes)
Remove corn from grill, and slather some of the mayo mixture in the bowl on all sides of the corn. Top with the cotija cheese, some of the left over ancho chili powder and fresh cilantro.
Serve immediately with lime wedges to squeeze on top if desired.
I partnered with Sweet Baby Rays on this post