I decided I wanted to do something more with these ingredients and last night my mind raced so much I could barely get to sleep. So I created possibilities. This morning I acted on it and for lunch, I made this meal. I wasn’t sure exactly how it would come out but when my “test subjects” wolfed it down and asked for more; I decided it must be good… or they were very hungry.
Bleu Cheese Shrimp on Apricot Quinoa with Roasted Artichoke Hearts
This is a multi-tasking meal so read instructions completely before starting.
- 1/2 c quinoa
- 4-6 apricot halves, diced
- 1/3-1/2 c apricot juice
- 1 lb shrimp (16-20/lb)
- 2 oz bleu cheese
- 1 lb bacon
- 1 can artichoke hearts
- onion powder
- garlic powder
- Parmesan cheese
I started by putting the quinoa into a pot with just slightly the amount of water and cooking it. When it is almost finished absorbing the water, add the apricot juice and diced apricots. The amount listed above is a variable - add more or less to your taste.
While the quinoa is cooking, butterfly the shrimp and set aside. When finished with shrimp, cut bacon slices in half. 1 slice of bacon per each 2 shrimp. Depending on the size of shrimp, approximately 1/2 lb (8-9 slices) should be sufficient. Lay the shrimp open and put some bleu cheese in the butterfly cut. I used crumbled bleu cheese -- perhaps a creamy bleu cheese might have been easier. I put the shrimp on the 1/2 slice of bacon just off-center so there is enough on one side to cover the top. Then I pull the remaining side over and tuck under the shrimp. IF you use a different count of shrimp, say 25-30/lb, you might be able to get away cutting the bacon into thirds. Place the shrimp on a baking sheet.
Take the artichoke hearts and rinse. Cut off the stem base so they will sit upright and place them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle onion and garlic powder over the tops and attempt to get it down into the leaves a tad.
Place the shrimp and chokes into the oven and bake at 425 for approximately 7-10 minutes. Then I cranked the temp up to 550 and baked another 3-4 mins to crisp up the bacon. I removed the chokes, sprinkled the tops with a heavy coating of Parmesan cheese and stuck them back into the over for the last couple of minutes at the high heat.
To serve, make a bed of the apricot quinoa, place the shrimp along the sides and the artichokes at the top.