Thursday, March 31, 2005

a killer appetizer

we had the family (well, only about 30 of them) over for easter dinner. the week before, my wife was watching Paula Dean on the food network. one of the constants in paula's cooking is that it is going to be good, but not necessarily good for you, since she uses butter by the cow full, and other such goodies. that, and the mush mouth accent she has makes it tough for me to sit and watch for more than a couple of minutes. but di loves her show, so guess what was on the tv?
anyway, she made these pecan stuffed dates, wrapped in bacon. we looked at each other, and knew we had one of our appetizers for the upcoming dinner.

let me preface the following with a few comments.
1: the kids (teens) in the group as a whole avoided them, saying they looked like cockroaches.
2: use Medjool dates if you can get them. i bought several kinds, and the Medjools were big enough, and tasty enough to handle the pecan and bacon flavors. i got them at the supermarket in the produce section. they sell them in bulk, so pick over the dates to get the best looking ones.

Bacon Wrapped, Pecan Stuffed Dates

preheat oven to 400 deg.F

  • dates, however many you think you need for appetizers

  • pecan halves. i thought about using candied pecans, but figured the dates were sweet enough, and i didn't need to gild that lily
  • bacon. if you are using big medjools, 1 slice bacon per 3 dates. if using a smaller variety of dates, 1 slice per 4 dates

pit dates if necessary. the bulk dates i bought needed pits removed. that works because you need to slice the side of the date to stuff the pecan half in anyway.
insert pecan half.
slice bacon (see above for how many pieces per slice) and wrap one piece per date, fixing it with a toothpick through the bacon and date.
place in cookie sheet. i used a cooling wire rack in the cookie sheet, so that when the bacon cooked, the extra fat dripped into the pan.
bake in oven until bacon cooked. be aware that the bacon doesn't look completely cooked until it's almost burned, so just cook it until it's browned but not dark.

let cool a little and chow down. these were so good i had to go back to the store to buy more dates for the actual dinner party, because i made them the evening before, and, uh, well, they evaporated. yeah, that's the ticket. they evaporated into thin air. i made 2 dozen, and about a dozen and a half just disappeared. now i'm not blaming my wife, because she admits to only a couple. i just DON'T KNOW what happened to the rest of them.

i bragged about them at work on monday, and was challenged to provide samples for judging. that's how i know medjools work best, because i bought packaged pre-pitted Deglet Noor dates, and they were smaller, and to my taste, not as good in the finished product. you can read about the varieties of dates available here. i bought the best ones by accident, but it was a happy accident. so i made the proof batch and took them to work tuesday, about 3 dozen or so. they lasted about 20 minutes, tops. i heard several comments ranging from "those look a bit dodgy bud" to "what the hell are you trying to do, feed us bugs?". yeah, well i got the last laugh. 20 minutes. they are that good.

for a complete list of my online recipes, follow the link here


Blogger Edvardicus said...

They are that good. I think I ate about 10 by myself and then dinner! Ayah they were good.

4/1/05, 11:16 AM  
Blogger bothenook said...

poor dwardo has been the guinea pig for a lot of my experiments. so far, i haven't killed him, and he and his lovely wife keep showing up when invited. i must be doing something right!

hiya ed. glad to see you're still amongst the living.

4/1/05, 12:28 PM  
Blogger Vigilis said...

Not only are they good, they are EASY!!! (once we figured cross-cutting the bacon)! Where do you get these delicious recipes?

4/1/05, 6:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw the show and wondered if they were really that good. Now I am going to have to try them.

4/2/05, 6:19 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

Oh. Yum.

Gonna try it, yeppers!

4/3/05, 10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had an RAN exchange officer cook something like this once....they were pretty tasty.

4/19/05, 12:50 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home