January 27, 2015

Let's Date!

Blue Cheese and Walnut Stuffed Dates wrapped in Bacon

I wish I had an image of these after they came out of the oven! 
Sadly, by then the party was in full swing,
 and I am terrible at putting photos before hearty appetites. 
Especially my own. 
And especially after a glass or two of wine. 
I feel it is safer to put that camera away...

None the less, trust me.
These little bites are bad ass.

If you are looking for something slightly different, something rich tasting but easy on the pocket, 
and something that can be made ahead for your next party (maybe Superbowl Sunday?!), 
these are easy to assemble, 
and are a nice diversion from the now seen-at-every-single-party-bacon-wrapped-scallops.

Or, you could serve them in a salad over some fresh greens with a nice balsamic vinaigrette (maybe Valentine's Day?!).

Any way you make them, mouths will be happy!

Makes a tray load

12 slices of bacon, thinly sliced, cut in half, par-cooked, drained and cooled
24 dried dates, pits removed (most brands the pits are removed for you)
1/4 cup of softened cream cheese
1/4 cup of softened blue cheese or gorgonzola
1/2 a cup of chopped walnuts or pecans

Balsamic glaze (if making an appetizer)
or Balsamic vinaigrette (if making a salad)

Tooth picks

Optional: Fresh spring greens for serving as a salad

You can make up to step 4 ahead of time; just wrap, refrigerate then bake before serving.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1. Cut your strips of bacon in half and par cook. Make sure they are still bendy so you can wrap them around the dates with ease. Drain and cool.
2. In the meantime, mix softened cream cheese, blue cheese and walnuts in a small bowl
3. Working one at a time (obviously), stuff the dates with the cream cheese, blue cheese and walnut mixture.
4. Wrap each stuffed date with a piece of bacon and pierce with a toothpick so they don't fall apart in the oven. Place on a large sheet pan lined with parchment.
5. Bake in the oven until the bacon is crisp and the dates are heated through, about 15 minutes.
6. Put on a serving platter and drizzle with the balsamic glaze.
Serve immediately
or toss the greens with the balsamic vinaigrette and place dates on top of the salad. Again, serve immediately.


Happy Superbowl Sunday and/or Valentine's Day!
To some, these may be interchangeable...

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