Breaded bacon, cheese, and shrimps rolls or bartolitos are delicious surf-and-turf morsels of cheese and shrimps rolled in bacon which are breaded and deep-fried in olive oil. You can find these delectable appetizers in many taverns in Spain, but they are especially well known in Andalusia.
Little is known about their origin but these piping hot and melted cheese and shrimps rolls are close relatives of the Andalusian flamenquines —breaded pork and ham rolls—, a recipe already included in our School of Tapas.
If you have the chance to visit Seville in Spring and happen to wander by the most famous fair in the city (Seville Fair) you will be able to find in many stands (marquees) and their menus these deep-fried rolls as hot entrees. Unfortunately these stands, better known locally as casetas, are all almost of private access only.
Nevertheless, many bars and taverns will carry these little bites not only in Seville but also in Ronda, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Malaga or Huelva. Deep-frozen bartolitos can be found in frozen food stores as well. However, the best way to enjoy them is making them at home… Don’t you think that is a wonderful idea?
- 10 rashers bacon
- 10 cheese singles
- 10 shrimps, deveined and peeled
- 2 eggs, beaten
- All-purpose flour
- Fine dried bread crumbs
- Olive oil
- Lay a rasher of bacon on a chopping board and make sure there are no gristles or pork skin in the slice.
- Place a single of cheese folded in half, or trim it to match the width of the bacon, and place a shrimp at the top edge.
- Roll the whole, wrapping it tightly around the shrimp and pierce a small wooden skewer through the center of the bartolito to secure it.
- Dredge the bacon rolls in flour, shaking off excess. Then dip in the beaten eggs and finally thoroughly coat with dried bread crumbs.
- Fry them in batches of no more than five pieces so that the temperature of the oil does not go down and the rolls absorb less oil.
- Remove them with a slotted spoon and drain the excess oil leaving them on kitchen paper or on a strainer placed over a bowl.
- Serve them immediately along with wine, French fries, and bread.
Tips for perfect breaded bacon rolls with cheese and shrimps:
- Prepare these bartolitos with York ham instead of bacon, also with very thin chicken breast fillets or fillets of dusky grouper.
- Another variety of bartolitos calls for the use of ground meat (lean pork meat) instead of shrimps.
- With the same name of this recipe, you will find another appetizer consisting of marinated and breaded sticks of fish, also very common in the south of Spain.
- You can double-bread the rolls in order to get a thicker and crunchy bread and egg coating.
- Do not skimp on frying oil and stir the rolls constantly with a slotted spoon while frying. You will get a perfect and uniform golden tapa following these tips.
- The cheese for this recipe must be soft and easy to melt like singles of a good quality cheese.
- Keep in mind that the more moisture in a cheese, the better it melts. Said that, use the cheese you like the most for melting.
Finally, serve this delicious breaded bacon rolls with cheese and shrimps along with some others tapas like albóndigas, croquetas, slices of Iberico ham and cheese… Be ready to enjoy a great table full of Spanish tapas!