Happy Monday, everyone! Did you have a nice weekend? Ben, Lincoln, and I spent Saturday at my parent’s house watching football before heading 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!
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Crispy Bacon Kale and Shrimp with Lemon Butter Pan Sauce
Gluten-free Crispy Bacon Kale and Shrimp with Lemon Butter Pan Sauce is a delicious and decadent-tasting dinner that's a cinch to make!
- 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.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
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!