Don't be turned off by dates as a main ingredient in this recipe, they are filled with cheese and wrapped in bacon.
I can admit there was a time in my life that dates didn't sound appetizing to me, but boy was I ever wrong. To start with dates are a sweet and delicious fruit and on top of that they are grown locally in Arizona in February and March. If you didn't know, the Super Bowl is in February, so the timing works out for you to grab some fresh dates (delicious on their own) and stuff them with cheese (again, delicious) and then wrap them in bacon (the coup de grace).
These make a great bite-sized snack that is relatively easy to prepare and will have people thinking you are some sort of food wizard by the end of the night.
- 16 dates
- 16 almonds
- 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles (if you don't like blue, use feta or goat cheese)
- 8 strips bacon, cut in half
- black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 F.
- Make a slit along the date lengthwise to expose center of the date.
- Remove the pit and replace it with an almond.
- Stuff center of date with 1/2 tablespoon of cheese, full but not overflowing.
- Roll date tightly in half strip of bacon and secure with toothpick.
- Place dates on baking sheet and place in oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove and sprinkle with black pepper.
The key is the bacon. Not just because it is one of the world's best tasting foods, but tightly wrapping each date in bacon will help cover up any mistakes you may have made in slicing or stuffing the dates.