Bacon and Quinoa Crusted Shrimp with Dijon Cream Sauce

This recipe calls for pre-cooked bacon, so I need to make sure we understand each other before I go any further here. Please know that I don't expect any of you to ever have LEFTOVER bacon in your house. I don't really know what that means even. What I am suggesting is that the next time you cook bacon, you cook enough extra to set aside a half cup of crispy bacon bits and HIDE THEM before anyone can get their grubby little paws on them. I just felt like that was an important clarification. We can move on now. :-)

I made this for dinner last night, and it might be my new favorite recipe. It's all about the crust, which I put on shrimp this time, but I think it would be equally delicious on pretty much any protein, especially as a way of making chicken or pork a little more "special." I'll let you know how those work out, because I definitely plan to try them. For now, here is the recipe with shrimp:


1 pound shrimp

1/3 cup Sriracha

1/3 cup white wine vinegar

1/2 cup crispy cooked bacon

1/2 cup cooked quinoa (any color)

1/2 cup seasoned whole wheat bread crumbs

4 Tablespoons butter

2 Tablespoons corn starch

1-1/2 cups milk

1 Tablespoon mustard (I used Dijon, but any kind should work.)

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

1/2 teaspoon Tony Chachere's seasoning

salt and pepper to taste


1. Peel and de-vein shrimp. I like to peel down to the last tail joint and leave that on for presentation, but it's a little more tedious to do it that way. If you're pressed for time (or just impatient), just peel them down completely. I promise they'll taste the same. ;-)

2. Combine Sriracha and white wine vinegar in a bowl and place peeled shrimp in the mixture. Toss to coat well.

3. In food processor or blender, process together cooked quinoa and bacon bits until it becomes the consistency of coarse meal. Dump into a shallow pan and add bread crumbs. Mix well.

4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

5. While oven is preheating, dredge shrimp in bacon-quinoa mixture and place on lined or sprayed baking pan, or preferably stoneware if you have it.

6. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.

7. In medium saucepan, melt butter and add corn starch. Stir over medium heat until well combined and beginning to pick up some golden color. Add milk and simmer until it begins to thicken, stirring regularly. (It is not necessary to bring this to a vigorous boil. It will thicken pretty quickly over moderate heat.)

8. Once sauce begins to thicken, add mustard, Worcestershire, Old Bay and Tony Chachere's seasonings. Cook and stir until desired consistency. (If it gets too thick, you can add more milk to loosen it up.) Taste and add salt and/or pepper if desired. (I didn't think it needed any with the Old Bay and Tony Chachere's.)

9. Serve by spooning sauce onto plates and placing shrimp on top. So delicious!