Chef Mark makes spicy shrimp BLT sandwiches

Central Illinois Newsday

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Spicy Grilled Shrimp, Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich – Serves 4

By Certified Executive Chef Mark Shoopman of Lutheran Hillside Village


20 pieces of shrimp (16/20 to a pound)

8 strips of smoked bacon, dusted with Cajun spice blend (recipe follows)

4 thickly sliced tomatoes

1 small head of iceberg lettuce, cleaned, cored and torn into sandwich size pieces

4 slices of Havarti (or your favorite) cheese

3 tablespoons margarine

8 slices of Sourdough (or your favorite) bread, toasted

As desired, Chef Mark’s sweet and spicy mayonnaise sauce (recipe follows)

As desired, hot and spicy or bread and butter pickles slices (your choice)

Cajun Spice Blend:

1 ½ tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon good quality smoked paprika

2 tablespoons sea salt

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon granulated garlic

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 teaspoon white pepper

– Mix all ingredients and store in an airtight container.

Chef Mark’s Sweet and Spicy Mayonnaise Sauce:

2 cups mayonnaise

¼ cup sweet chili sauce, the oriental ones work great here!

¼ teaspoon granulated garlic

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

1 teaspoon lemon juice

– Place all the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix thoroughly. Wrap and chill leftovers for up to one week.

Procedure and Presentation:

Begin by cooking the bacon, draining the grease on a paper towel and setting the bacon aside.

Make certain the shrimp are completely thawed and patted dry. Gently run a sharp knife along the slit where they are deveined and press back down on a flat surface to remove the vein running down the back. Remove and discard the tails and keep chilled until ready to use.

Season the shrimp generously with the seasoning.

Heat a medium-sized sauté skillet over medium-high heat. Melt the margarine and add the shrimp. Cook gently over medium heat until they are translucent and cooked through, approximately three minutes on each side.

Toast the bread and assemble the sandwich from the bottom up in this fashion: bread, spicy mayo, Havarti cheese, grilled shrimp, bacon strips, iceberg lettuce, tomato slices, pickles, spicy mayo and bread top.

This one is hard to eat, so be careful and go for it!

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