Friday, October 5, 2012

Healthier Baked Stuffed Shrimp

Who doesn't love baked stuffed shrimp? Who doesn't love getting on the scale the morning after and realizing that they haven't gained three pounds from all that butter? Me, me, me!! Baked stuffed shrimp is one of my favorite things to eat, and I have finally found a way to make it without having to feel grease drip down my esophagus. The secret is to use applesauce instead of butter. For those of you who are skeptical, hear me out. You cannot taste the apple specifically, but what you CAN taste is amazing flavor that fails to hold a candle to butter. Honestly, I prefer the taste of these shrimp over any I've tried that have been made the traditional way. Pinky swear.

So the store brand buttery round crackers (Ritz crackers for all you mega zillionaires out there!) are the only bad thing in this recipe. Sure, a sleeve of buttered crackers really adds up, but compared to a more traditional recipe, it's not that bad. I paired this recipe with roasted baby peppers and butternut squash (recipes to follow). The combination was amazing, so I suggest you read allll the postings related to last night's dinner! :)

8 jumbo shrimp, shelled, de-veined, and butterflied
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed to resemble sawdust
1/2 cup  unsweetened applesauce
1 tbsp dried parsley
juice of 1/2 lime (Yes... lime... NOT lemon!)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more, depending on how hot you like it!)

1. Preheat oven to 350'.

2. Combine crushed crackers and applesauce. Mix very well and add all remaining ingredients (less the shrimp).

3. Taste your mixture and make sure that you like it. It it's too dry, add more applesauce or lime, depending on which flavor you prefer. It's all about satisfying your taste buds!
4. Divide your cracker mixture into 8 portions. Make an oval and stick the mixture on top of the butterflied shrimp. Fold the tail over so that it sticks to the stuffing.
5. Place your shrimp on a prepared cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tails turn pink.
6. Cut the remaining half lime into two wedges and squeeze over your shrimp if desired. To me, this makes the dish, but whatevs... it's up to you!

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