Crispy Bacon Kale and Shrimp with Lemon Butter Pan Sauce is a delicious and decadent-tasting dinner that’s a cinch to make!
Happy Monday, everyone! Did you have a nice weekend? I got mine started a little early with a quick trip (we’re talking 24 hours) to New York City on Thursday morning!
As you might know, I’ve been developing recipes for Fisher Nuts over the past year and a half and Fisher wanted to gather all the bloggers who’ve been doing the same to meet their celebrity chef spokesperson, Alex Guarnaschelli, at her restaurant, Butter, in NYC. As if that wasn’t exciting enough, I found out by scrolling through my Facebook feed before taking off that two of my friends were going to be in the city at the same time!
I dropped my bags off at the hotel after arriving then immediately met the girls, Lindsey and Shalu, for lunch before the Fisher event started. My heart was about to burst I was so happy. What are the odds of us being in New York City at the same time on a random Thursday afternoon in November, when one lives in Seattle, another in Charlotte, and myself in Iowa??
We snagged a table at Sergimmo Salumeria, an Italian meat and cheese shop which had been on Lindsey’s must-try list for awhile. We all ordered their most popular sandwich – IL VIP – and chatted up until the minute I had to leave. The sandwich (which I got over greens ) was unreal. At least three inches of silky, thinly-sliced prosciutto di parma layered on top of their house-made, organic, preservative-free mozzarella cheese drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic reduction, and accented with fig spread. I could eat this meal every single day of my life. The girls didn’t love their bread, so if you go I’d recommend getting it the way I did even if you don’t eat gluten-free. It was so beautiful that someone in line asked me what it was so she could order it herself!
Even better though was a completely unexpected lunch with two of my favorite people. You’ve probably seen Lindsey on the blog before (far left in the picture above,) as we’ve been friends since college orientation. She introduced me to Shalu after meeting her at their first job out of college and we became instant friends. Could not have asked for a better start to the trip!
The Fisher event with Chef Alex was at 3pm so I raced back to the hotel after lunch, made a wardrobe change, then headed downstairs to meet the other bloggers before heading to the restaurant which was conveniently located in the bottom of our hotel – Cassa Hotel. Side note: I would stay at Cassa Hotel again in a heartbeat. It was really nice!
I’ll be posting more about the event in a couple of weeks (with better photos than what I took with my iPhone!) but Chef Alex is a cool freaking cat, man. I related to her nervousness at talking and demonstrating a few recipes in front of the group, but if she hadn’t told us how nervous she was I would have never known. The woman is a star chef with stories for days. I could have stayed and listened to her for hours. Alas, she had to open up her restaurant to the paying public so we wrapped up around 5.
Again, more details to come but this was an awesome afternoon getting to know some fellow food bloggers better, and a few for the first time. Getting to meet Chef Alex was a dream come true too. Very cool experience indeed!
Later that night I met back up with Shalu and Lindsey and we went hog wild (as in, ordering enough food for 6 people,) at the Mediterranean restaurant Ilili. I can’t recommend this place enough – especially their lamb chops, kafta, and roasted brussels sprouts. It gave me a few recipe ideas so I’ll be sure to share more later (and sorry no food pics it was a really dim restaurant/not really appropriate to be taking a ton of pictures. Furthermore, sometimes a girl’s got to sit, sip a cocktail, and CHAT!)
I was set to leave NYC around 10am the next day, Friday, and as I was packing up with the Today Show on in the background I heard the Christmas tree had just been delivered to Rockefeller Center, which happened to be about four blocks from the hotel. Umm, when in Rome, right?? I quickly finished shoving everything into my suitcase then scooted down to the lobby to make my way over and see the massive tree for myself before heading to the airport. Seeing it lit up in all it’s glory on my bucket list and I figured this was the next best thing!
I walked out the elevator doors and immediately ran into a blogger whom I loved getting to know the night before at the Fisher event, Aggie from Aggie’s Kitchen. She and I had our boys around the same time and made an immediate connection over that. Furthermore, Aggie is simply a wonderful, kind, and interesting person. She had some time time to kill before her flight too so I invited her along and we saw the tree and surrounding areas together for the next hour. Such a great way to end a quick yet terrific trip!
The rest of the weekend was fun, too. Ben, Lincoln, and I spent Saturday at my parent’s house watching football before heading over to a friend’s house to hang out for awhile, then Sunday was spent strolling the mall (had a few things to take back,) and grabbing lunch at my beloved Monterrey. Because a week’s not complete without some of their chicken fajitas! Seriously though I might have a problem. I’ve gone four times in three weeks. #cantstopwontstop
I also made Crispy Bacon Kale and Shrimp with Lemon Butter Pan Sauce to share with you today!
You guys…this. dish! Like Apple-Cheddar Stuffed Chicken with Apple-Dijon Pan Sauce and Ben’s Beef Stew, this recipe comes from the creative mind of my dear husband, Ben. A few weeks ago I was feeling especially exhausted after a long day so he offered to cook dinner which I happily accepted. I headed upstairs to put Lincoln to bed and before I could throw out the bathwater, sans baby of course, I could smell this masterpiece cooking. I quickly put on Lincoln’s PJs, read him a couple books, and then rocked him while he drank his milk. (Truth be told, I totally cut story time short because the smells wafting upstairs were making me so hungry!)
I entered the kitchen and was handed a plate of leftover mashed potatoes warmed through then topped with crispy bacon kale, and sauteed bay scallops, which are a true treat because hello, we live in a land-locked state, and because the first meal Ben and I ate after getting engaged (like, literally 10 minutes later) was bay scallops at an ocean-side restaurant in San Diego. It was incredible. Even more incredible was the he made the entire recipe with stuff we already had in the fridge and freezer!
I immediately grilled him for the ingredients then gave the recipe my own spin for the blog. Crispy Bacon Kale and Shrimp with Lemon Butter Pan Sauce is whipped Healthier Mashed Potatoes (that actually taste good) piled high with bacon-laced, oven-crisped kale, then studded with salt and pepper-seasoned sauteed jumbo shrimp. Bay scallops are great, of course, but I think shrimp is more accessible for the masses. The whole thing is drizzled with a 5 minute pan sauce which takes this meal from amazing to over the top.
This dish looks fancy but it’s got a short ingredient list of fridge, freezer, and pantry staples. Totally simple, too, as everything from the bacon and kale, to the shrimp and pan sauce are all made in one skillet. Right?!
Like I said, I used Healthier Mashed Potatoes (that actually taste good) for the base of this dish but I am dying to try it with parmesan grits. This is a great meal to make post-holiday because, if you’re like my family, you’ll likely have leftover shrimp and potatoes laying around. Regardless of the time of year, make this simple yet scrumptious meal ASAP!
Start by chopping 4 slices center-cut bacon. Here’s is my favorite bacon tip of all time which I can’t believe I’ve never shared and am going to immediately add to my list of 40+ Favorite Kitchen Tips and Tricks: the key to finding bacon that’s got a lot of meat and not a ton of fat is looking at the back of the package. If there’s a lot of meat in the window then you’re good. If it’s mostly fat then the rest of the slices will be fatty too. Seriously works every time!
Add the chopped bacon to a very large skillet (10+ inches) over medium heat then saute until lightly crisp and golden brown.
Next add 8 cups packed chopped curly kale which is about 1 bunch. You might need to do this in two batches, meaning add half the kale then let wilt for a minute before adding the rest. Season with salt and pepper then saute until the kale is slightly wilted, 2-3 minutes.
Next, pour the kale and bacon onto a foil-lined baking sheet then roast for 7-9 minutes at 400 degrees. This is going to make your sauteed kale crispy on the edges which is an awesome texture combo with the bouncy shrimp and creamy mashed potatoes. LOVE!
While the kale and bacon are roasting, turn the heat up to medium-high then add 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil to the skillet. Pat 1lb peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp dry with paper towels then season both sides with salt and pepper. Saute the shrimp in batches, as to not overcrowd the pan, for 1-2 minutes a side then remove to a plate.
Turn the heat up to high then add 1 cup chicken broth, 2 Tablespoons butter, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to the skillet. You don’t want to add the whole half or the pan sauce could taste a little too sour. Scrape up all the bits from the bottom of the skillet, season with salt and pepper, and then boil until the sauce is thickened and reduced, 4-5 minutes.
If you’re serving the crispy bacon kale and shrimp with healthier mashed potatoes (which I made before starting the bacon and kale,) plate that then top with the kale and shrimp. If you don’t want to go the potato route, again I’d recommend parmesan grits or even wild rice. Drizzle the lemon butter pan sauce on top then dig in!
Crispy Bacon Kale and Shrimp with Lemon Butter Pan Sauce
4 slices center-cut bacon, chopped
8 cups packed chopped curly kale (1 bunch)
salt and pepper
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1lb jumbo peeled and de-veined raw shrimp
1 cup chicken broth
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 lemon (will only need a squeeze of it – not the whole thing)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees then line a baking sheet with foil and set aside. Add bacon to a large skillet over medium heat then saute until starting to crisp and turn golden brown. Add the kale, season with salt and pepper, and then toss with tongs to coat in the bacon grease (may need to add half the kale, let it wilt a bit, then add the other half.) Saute until slightly wilted, 2-3 minutes, then pour onto prepared baking sheet and roast until kale is crisp, 7-9 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pat shrimp dry with paper towels then season both sides with salt and pepper. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat then add shrimp in batches as to not overcrowd the skillet. Saute shrimp for 1-2 minutes a side then remove to a plate.
- Turn heat up to high then add chicken broth, butter, and a generous squeeze of lemon to the skillet (don’t need the entire half or it will be a touch too sour.) Season with salt and pepper then boil until reduced and slightly thickened, 4-5 minutes. Plate kale and bacon then top with shrimp and lemon butter pan sauce. Serve with healthier mashed potatoes that actually taste good, cooked rice, or parmesan grits.
Decadent-tasting, simple, and ultra-scrumptious. I find there’s nothing seafood, kale, and bacon can’t fix in life – especially a long and tiring day. Enjoy!