Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Medjool Dates and Smokey Bacon-A Sweet and Savory Marriage

It's All About the Bacon and the Medjool Dates

Bacon and Cheese Stuffed Dates
Cook;s notes:These delicious bite-size appetizers are prepared in less than 30 minutes. Holiday entertaining is a bit easier with make ahead directions. Follow all the preparation steps except do not bake the dates. Place stuffed dates in an airtight container, cover, and chill for up to 24 hours. Bake as directed just before serving.
Recipe from Midwest Living
Ingredients:
  • 2 slices bacon, crisp-cooked, drained, and finely crumbled, or 1/4 cup chopped prosciutto (2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion (2)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (2 ounces) or goat cheese
  • 1- 3 ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tsp. Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 24 Medjool dates (about 16 ounces unpitted)
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl stir together bacon, green onions, and garlic. Add blue cheese, cream cheese, mustard, and pepper to bacon mixture. Stir to combine.
  • Using a sharp knife, make a lengthwise slit in each date. Spread each date open slightly. Remove pits. Fill each date with a rounded teaspoon of the bacon mixture. Place dates filling sides up on a baking sheet. Bake, uncovered in the preheated oven for 5 to 8 minutes or until heated through. Serve warm. Makes 24 appetizers.

Bacon Wrapped Dates with Goat Cheese
Cook's notes: For crispier bacon, bake longer. Wrap bacon pieces around the dates 1.5 times. Recipe adapted from http://pinchofyum.com
Ingredients:
  • 8 slices smokey flavored bacon 
  • 16 dates
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • toothpicks
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil otherwise there will be grease everywhere . 
  • Slice the dates lengthwise on one side to create an opening. Remove the pit.
  • Using a spoon, stuff a small amount of goat cheese into the cavity of each date and press the sides together to close.
  • Cut the bacon slices in half. Wrap each date with a slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
  • Arrange evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the dates and use the toothpick to turn each one so it's laying on its side. Bake for another 5-8 minutes, until browned to your liking, and turn the dates to the other side and repeat. Remove from the oven, place on a paper towel lined plate, and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Bacon-Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Almonds
Cook's notes: 
Dates can be stuffed, wrapped, and kept refrigerated for up to 24 hours before baking.Recipe serves six as appetizers comes from http://www.thekitchn.com
Ingredients:
  • 24 Marcona almonds or regular almonds
  • 24 dried, pitted dates
  • 12 slices thick-cut bacon, cut in half (roughly 5-inch pieces)
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Stuff an almond into each date. Wrap each date in half-slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Stick the toothpick through the date closer to one end, so as not to run into the almond in the middle.
  • Place dates on the baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, turning them over after halfway through, until the bacon is fully cooked and crispy. Baking time may be slightly longer or shorter depending on thickness of the bacon. Serve immediately.
Thanks Sara for today's food inspiration! 


Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain) 
Born on November 30, 1835, in Florida, Missouri, Samuel L. Clemens wrote under the pen name Mark Twain and went on to author several novels, including two major classics of American literature: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. He was also a riverboat pilot, journalist, lecturer, entrepreneur and inventor. Twain died on April 21, 1910, in Redding, Connecticut.

Some interesting trivia from Writers Almanac
Mark Twain favored white linen shirts and suits and smoked 20 cigars and countless pipes every day. He first fell in love with his wife, Olivia, when her brother showed him a photograph while they were on ship together. Twain said: "I do believe that young filly has broken my heart. That only leaves me with one option, for her to mend it." On their first outing together, he and Olivia went to a reading by Charles Dickens. She turned down his marriage proposals three times before accepting. For the rest of their lives together, she edited his novels, essays, and lectures.

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