Q: Hey Dr. BBQ,
I"m always playing around with appetizers on the grill. Just wondering if you could share a few of your favorites.
A: Hi Mike,
Appetizers are a great opportunity to experiment and have some fun. Here are a couple ideas:
Portobellos marinated in Italian dressing, grilled and filled with bleu cheese.
Anything wrapped in bacon is a hit. I like scallops wrapped in bacon and finished with a baste of jalapeño sauce.
Wings are always good and can work with any kind of seasoning and glaze you can think up.
I recently had a piece of boneless jerk chicken on a skewer with a piece of grilled pineapple. The variations on that one are endless.
Last but certainly not least here is an appetizer recipe that I helped my friend Chris Lilly prepare for a BBQ dinner at the James Beard House:
Barbecue Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp With Basil Stuffing
32 fresh or frozen large shrimp in shells
32 basil leaves, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
16 slices bacon, cut in half
3/4 to 1 cup bottled barbecue sauce
Thaw shrimp, if frozen. Remove shells from shrimp, leaving tails. Butterfly each shrimp by cutting a slit along its back; remove vein. Rinse shrimp and pat dry with paper towels.
For stuffing, combine basil, Parmesan cheese, and garlic in small bowl. Place stuffing in slits. Leaving tail exposed, wrap each shrimp with half-slice of bacon, tucking in ends.
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Place shrimp on baking sheet with tails pointing up. Bake until shrimp turn opaque, about 14 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
Dip shrimp into barbecue sauce and place on grill until sauce caramelizes or return to baking sheet and bake until sauce is caramelized, about 3 minutes.
Yield: 6 servings as appetizer
Recipe courtesy of Chris Lilly at Bib Bob Gibson"s www.bigbobgibson.com