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14th October
2010
written by Steph

Tiny morsels of food heaven!

Last night Tony and I went to a potluck dinner party held in celebration of our good friend Abby getting another year older. We were designated the hors d’oeuvres portion of the meal (as well as coming up with a suitably commemorative cocktail), and we knew that we needed to concoct something delightfully decadent for the occasion. We rarely host or attend dinner parties that are sufficiently fancy to call for hors d’oeuvres (I mean, just typing the word is trouble enough), but my mind immediately leaped to the idea of dates wrapped in bacon… which was fortuitous, because they happen to be one of Abby’s favorite indulgences! Now pretty much anything wrapped in bacon is going to make for a morsel of deliciousness, but you know Tony and I like to go big or go home, so we decided that we’d add a little something special to these little gustatory parcels to make them really memorable… Hence the addition of blue cheese and walnuts stuffed inside each date prior to being ensconced in bacon. This dish is so simple it almost seems like it doesn’t warrant typing out a recipe. But then again, it is so delicious and delectable, I figured it deserved a post. It only requires four ingredients but they combine to produce culinary magic that tastes far more complicated and satisfying than the effort involved to put these together. You’ll need:
  • Strips of bacon (preferably thick cut, and preferably hickory smoked!)
  • 1 box/container of pitted dates
  • blue cheese crumbles
  • shelled walnuts
Here’s how you make tiny mouthfuls of heaven: 1.     Preheat oven to 450ºF. 2.     Make an incision in each of your dates. Place some blue cheese and a piece of walnut inside each date. (Don’t worry if your date’s aren’t plump enough to do this… just plop some blue cheese and your walnut atop each date). 3.     Place your stuffed date on the edge of your strip of raw bacon and roll the bacon around the date until you have a cylinder of bacon encircling your date. Your bacon roll should have the ends slightly overlapping. Trim the bacon off and secure it together by a handy toothpick pierced through it. 4.     Continue with remaining dates… If you have thick cut bacon, you don't need to wrap the dates in many layers of bacon, so you can get 3 – 4 dates wrapped for each strip of bacon. If you have thinner bacon (or are using prosciutto… another yummy choice), you may want to dedicate an entire strip to each date, or at least wrap the bacon around it 2 – 3 times before trimming. 5.     Place bacon-wrapped dates in an oven-safe dish, and bake for approximately 20 minutes. The goal is to have the bacon nice and crispy and crunchy! 6.     Try your hardest to let these cool for about 5 minutes before popping them in your mouth. They’ll be hot if you don’t wait… which we didn’t, because we were too anxious! And there you have it!  A super easy, but super delicious appetizer that belies its simple roots. These seem fancy enough that people think they must be tricky to pull together, but they’re so quick and simple to pull together that you kind of owe it to yourself (and your guests) to serve them at your next party! The dates get very soft and melty as they bake, and their intense sweetness is offset by the smoky bacon and the saltiness of the blue cheese. Also, the tiny toothpicks are great for picking these up for eating, not just holding the parcels together, so definitely don't skip them! Heaven in a single bite. What more do you need?

10 Comments

  1. 10/14/2010

    I think I can count on one hand the occasions where I have eaten a date, but these sound amazing! I do agree that everything is better with bacon, and the addition of the blue cheese and walnuts to this recipe sound like they would make for a really interesting taste sensation. I also like that the recipe is easy and no-fuss. These seem like the perfect choice for our holiday book club dinner, so thanks so much for posting this, and for the excellent picture. I always get so inspired when I see your recipe posts!

  2. Eliza
    10/14/2010

    Yes!!! Can’t wait to make these… so glad you don’t mind my “prying” for the recipe. 🙂

  3. 10/14/2010

    Good lord, I want one of those right now.

  4. 10/14/2010

    That looks delicious! I don’t think I’ve ever tried anything like this and it looks easy to make. I like. Will definitely try it!

  5. 10/14/2010

    What else do I need? How about the cocktail that went with? 😉

  6. 10/15/2010

    Dates wrapped in bacon are almost always the hors d’oeuvres I serve here at home (and good bread with good olive oil ;)), so I’ll definitely try this one!

  7. 10/15/2010

    @ zibilee: Oh, dates wrapped in bacon are so good. The perfect combination of salty and sweet! These would be perfect for your holiday book club dinner, so I do hope you give them a try!
     
    @ Eliza: Of course I don’t mind sharing recipes! Your “prying” did not offend me at all! 😉
     
    @ Thomas: I’m probably lucky I had to share these with others, otherwise I might have eaten the whole tray…
     
    @ sakura: So easy that you’d be a fool not to make these! Easy recipes that have tons of taste are definitely the way to go!
     
    @ softdrink: Consider your request noted! I will post the cocktail recipe in the future!
     
    @ Alex: Since you’re such a connoisseur, I’ll be interested to see how you like this version! If only Nashville had good bread (along with good Chinese food, good bread is seriously lacking here), I’d be a happy happy girl!

  8. 10/15/2010

    It sounds quite delicious – one to remember I think.

    We have a shared dinner tomorrow and we’re doing the main course – Moroccan chicken with couscous and Mediterranean vegetables

  9. 10/15/2010

    Yum. I’d never have thought of bacon and dates, though!

  10. 10/17/2010

    @ Tom C: Oh, I love Moroccan chicken! Should you ever wind up on the appetizer course, this might be one to try!
     
    @ Nicola: Oh, you simply must try bacon and dates! A winning combination!

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