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Grill Talk

September 16, 1993|BEV BENNETT

Seafood and smoke make an outstanding combination when the haze is created by a barbecue grill. But as delicious as grilled seafood can be, it's tricky. It can go from succulent to stringy and dry in a minute. And because you might not be watching as carefully as you would with a stove-top method, it's easy to overcook.

To remedy this, I use a foolproof recipe for cooking seafood on the grill. I skewer the seafood--shrimp, in this case--and weave a strip of bacon around it. The bacon protects the shrimp from too much heat and bastes it at the same time. I recommend precooking the bacon slightly so it gets nice and crisp during grilling.

Then, rather than serve the kebabs plain, I add a delicious fruity mango salsa. If the shrimp are the least bit overcooked, the salsa compensates.

Although this recipe is for shrimp, there's no reason it wouldn't work with scallops or cubes of swordfish, halibut or tuna.

SHRIMP AND BACON KEBABS WITH MANGO SALSA 4 strips bacon 16 medium-large shrimp, peeled and deveined Olive oil Mango Salsa

Place bacon in cold skillet and cook over medium-high heat to slightly browned. Drain some of fat. Drain well on paper towels.

On 1 long metal skewer add strip of bacon, then shrimp, alternately weaving total of 2 strips of bacon and 8 shrimp per skewer. Arrange so there is space between shrimp. Repeat with second skewer and remaining bacon and shrimp.

Prepare grill, heating coals until white hot. Brush kebabs lightly with olive oil. Grill until shrimp turn white and bacon is crisp, 3 to 5 minutes per side.

To serve, remove shrimp and bacon from skewers, allowing 1 skewer per serving. Spoon salsa on side. Makes 2 servings.

Note: To cook shrimp in oven, place skewers on baking sheet. Bake at 500 degrees 4 to 5 inches from heat until shrimp are pink and bacon is nicely browned, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Watch carefully after 3 minutes per side so bacon doesn't burn.

Mango Salsa 1 medium ripe mango, peeled, seeded and diced 1 small jalapeno chile, cored, seeded and minced 1 green onion (white and green parts), minced 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro 2 teaspoons oil 4 teaspoons fresh lime juice Dash salt

Combine mango, jalapeno, green onion and cilantro in bowl.

Stir together oil, lime juice and salt in separate small bowl. Pour over mango mixture and stir well. Set aside for flavors to blend.

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