Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Dates stuffed with blue cheese

The night before last we ate at the 3 Muses on Frenchmen street. We ordered a number of small plates, and one that I want to try at home was dates stuffed with blue cheese, wrapped with bacon and drizzled with a balsamic reduction. They were served warm and were delicious. They would also be good made with figs. 


Ingredients
20 to 24 Medjool dates (12 to 16 ounces)
4 ounces goat cheese or blue cheese
12 to 16 ounces bacon, preferably of medium thickness
20 to 24 toasted almonds, optional

1 cup Balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar

  1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a baking liner and set aside.
  2. Cut open the dates: Use a paring knife to cut a slit in the side of the date. Use your thumbs to open the date slightly. Remove the pits if your dates still have them inside.
  3. Stuff with cheese: Use a spoon to stuff a little goat cheese or blue cheese into each date. Use the back of the spoon to press the cheese into the date. If you're adding almonds, press an almond or two into the cheese. Press the date closed.
  4. Wrap the dates with bacon: Cut the strips of bacon in half. Wrap each date with a half-strip of bacon. Secure the end of the bacon with a toothpick.
  5. Arrange the dates on the baking sheet: Space the dates a little apart and lay them on one side.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, flip the dates to the other side.
  7. Continue baking for another 15 to 20 minutes: Keep an eye on the dates and remove from the oven as soon as the bacon is as crispy as you like it.
  8. Transfer the dates to a plate with a paper towel to drain. If the dates seem greasy, blot the sides as well as the bottoms.
  9. Combine vinegar and brown sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer til thick.
  10. Arrange the dates with toothpicks and drizzle with balsamic reduction.

Recipe Notes

  • The dates can be prepped and refrigerated for up to a day before baking. Keep covered.
  • Recipe can be doubled or tripled as needed.



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