Sunday, September 4, 2011

Bacon Wrapped Dates

This week I was inspired by my last meet up with my co-author Stefan to cook come bacon wrapped dates.  We attempted to cook some at his house some time ago while making pulled-pork monte cristos (something I may or may not write about in the future), however, since we were slow cooking pork butt in the same oven (temperature was too low to cook the bacon properly) and since we had both had too much Bourbon (we weren't paying that much attention), I do not think they turned out as well as they could have.  Determined to one-up the prior experience, I added a ricotta stuffing to my dates prior to cooking.

Making bacon wrapped dates is remarkably simple.  The hardest part, in my opinion, is finding the dates.  I was able to find some pitted dates by the prunes and raisins at my local Dominics.  After finding the dates, the next complex part is the stuffing.  I used store bot ricotta, spooned into a zip-lock bag.  I then cut out a small corner of the bag to create a make-shift piping bag and used that to squeeze the ricotta into the whole left from the pitting process.

The components involved in the process - sans toothpick (not to minimize the contribution of the toothpick)

Then comes the bacon wrapping.  The size of the dates I had was not overly large so I was able to use a quarter strip of bacon to wrap them (cut the bacon in half length wise and width wise).  The package is held together by a toothpick (tip: don't forget to soak your toothpicks in water so they don't burn) and placed on a parchment lined baking sheet.  For myself and Laura I made 10 dates since they are very rich and I did not want either of us to be too full since I was making carbonara later (maybe another post).

After all that, 450 degree oven - 15 minutes.

End result - delicious.


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