A Date with Bacon
When I was a vegetarian, I missed one big thing about meat – BACON! My husband used to send me out in the hallway in our apartment building when someone was cooking with bacon just so I could breathe it in. To. Die. For. As I started eating meat again, bacon was definitley an occassional favorite treat but it has never shined for me like it does in this appetizer. Truly one of my favorites and I have a good friend to thank for it. You have not been to a dinner party until you have been invited to my friend Bob’s house. You may have thought you threw a good party – well you didn’t. Not like Bob. So when I was throwing my own little holiday soiree I decided to steal Bob’s recipe (actually I did ask permission) for Dates Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Wrapped in BACON. And as usual it did not disappoint. With the exception of finding good dates, it is a very easy appetizer to make and one that is sure to wow your guests. I have seen this dish done – sometimes with almonds, sometimes with basil leaves, sometimes with added salt. No need – these flavors do not need anything to make it any better. They belong together. Gosh, just writing this I wish I would have stashed some away for myself.
I had to go to a specialty produce store to find nice plump dates, but I also found that if the dates are to small you can splice them together and add your goat cheese, roll them in your hand a bit and wrap your bacon slice around it and bake! Just don’t forget to remove the pits.
Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Bacon (adapted from Saveur Magazine)
- 24 large moist dates, such as medjool
- 12 slices of bacon
- 2 oz. softened goat cheese
Move oven rack to upper third of oven and preheat oven to 500 °. Pit dates, tearing them open as little as possible. Set dates aside. Halve the 12 slices of bacon crosswise. Put the goat cheese into a pastry bag fitted with a round, plain 1/4″ tip. Pipe goat cheese into each stuffed date. Wrap 1 piece of bacon around width of each date. Put dates on a baking sheet, seam side down, at least 1/2″ apart. Bake until bacon is golden and crisp, 6-8 minutes. Set aside to cool briefly before serving.