Just in time for Easter brunch – an easy and delicious recipe.
Bacon wrapped anything is just plain good. Wrap bacon around a scallop and you have an impossibly delicious land-meets-sea cocktail party morsel. Cover a chicken liver in bacon and you can make an offal-hater on a diet believe “fat meets fat” is a good thing (Fat is not a bad thing, by the way, but that’s a topic for another blog).
I started at Murray’s 3 months ago and one of my first assignments was to make our Bacon Wrapped Dates. I was quickly reminded of how much I adore bacon wrapped things when I pulled the first batch from the oven and – for professional reasons of course – popped one in my mouth.
The first rush is the smoky-salty perfection that is bacon, freshly sliced Nueske’s slab bacon to be precise. The bacon is wrapped around a plump Medjool date which any oven magically transforms into a gooey sweet candy. And here comes the kicker: inside the date is a creamy, tangy oozing bite of Bucheron goat cheese AND a surprising, pleasant crunch thanks to a single Marcona almond.
Crunchy, creamy. sweet, and salty – all in one bite. There isn’t a thing missing from this 3-D style hors d’oeuvres experience. It’s like a study in contrast of flavor and texture, I kid you not. Salty. Sweet. Creamy Crunchy. Want to make them? Of course you do. Lucky for you it’s incredibly easy. So get going, and bon appetit!
Bacon-Wrapped Dates makes 10 pieces
10 Medjool dates (the large ones), pit removed with a paring knife
10 slices bacon (sliced thin)
10 whole marcona almonds
8-10 oz Bucheron
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Gently push 1 ounce of cheese and one almond inside each date. Squeeze the cut section of the date together. The natural stickiness will serve as a seal when you press the sides together and will help keep the cheese from oozing out.
- Lay a bacon strip down long ways and roll the date into the bacon.
- Place the dates on a baking sheet. If you have a wire cooling rack, place it on top of sheet pan and bake on this so the fat drips through the rack.
- Cook in the middle of the oven for 12-15 minutes, until the bacon is crisp.
- Dates will be hot! Let cool thoroughly to at or near room temperature before serving.
Michele Pulaski is a consulting chef at Murray’s Cheese. She has a way with words and can’t resist a colorful scarf.