Bacon-Wrapped Dates Stuffed With Cheese
Stuffed with Parmesan or blue cheese, this hors d'oeuvre can challenge a martini for the spotlight.
- Servings: Makes 20 bite-sized pieces.
If you're serving these to guests, you can prep them hours in advance and then just pop into the oven just as the intercom rings. But don't bake them in advance because part of the pleasure is their combination of textures, including the warm melted cheese.
You'll need a hot oven (450°F), a shallow baking dish or sheet pan, and toothpicks. Have a serving plate ready so that you can take them right out of the oven and out to your guests. Save one for yourself.
- 20 pitted dates. You can use dates still on the vine or the plump Medjool dates but you will need to pit them yourself (it's easy to do with a paring knife but try to keep each date intact). This recipe works beautifully with the easy-to-find pitted dates that are smaller and therefore may be a better choice.
- 20 pieces of Parmigiano-Reggiano or firm blue cheese like Danish Blue or Maytag or Great Hill Blue; each piece should be around 1" x 1/4", in other words, to fill the space inside the pitted date.
- 10 pieces thin-sliced bacon, each cut in half so as to have 20 pieces. Have the bacon at room temperature so that the slices will wrap easily.
- 20 wooden toothpicks
- Pre-heat oven to 450º F degrees.
- Stuff one piece of cheese into each date. (Don't let too much spill out from the date as it will only melt faster than the entire date will cook.)
- Wrap a piece of bacon around each date, securing it in place with a toothpick.
- Arrange on rimmed baking sheet or shallow baking dish.
- Bake for an initial 5 minutes.
- Using tongs or carefully taking hold of the toothpicks, turn each date over so that it will bake evenly, and return to the oven for another 5 or 6 minutes or until the bacon is crisp. If you've used smaller dates, be careful to not overcook them.
- Serve immediately.
Adapted from a recipe in Gourmet magazine which had adapted its recipe from a Suzanne Goin recipe.