It's the holiday party season. Understatement of the year, right?
If you're anything like us, you have a couple of parties to go to. And you might be asked to bring something to these parties. That's O.K. I like bringing stuff, especially food. Pretty much because I'm a picky eater, and if I bring something I'm sure to have something to eat.
I know, I'm the model guest.
Anyway, B and I had to go to a party last night, and I was asked to bring an appetizer. This one is so good, I could have eaten the entire plate. But I didn't. I refrained. Because there was actually food that I liked at the party.
If you're looking for a very simple, and I do mean simple, very delicious, and very elegant appetizer to take (I know, I know, I'm getting "take" and "bring" mixed up here--which to use?) to a party, then this one's for you.
Ever had a Bacon Wrapped Date stuffed with Gorgonzola cheese? Oh my.
Apparently my husband had never had one because he took one of my little appetizers, not knowing that I had made them, and said, "Hey, you have to try these little cocktail weiners covered with bacon. They're great!" That's my guy. He has such a refined palate.
Honestly, who would wrap pork with more pork? Really, honey? Really?
Anyway, my friend, Amy, served these probably more than 10 years ago at her first neighborhood Christmas party, and she's made them every year since. Everyone requests them over and over again because they're so good. And I'm a lucky friend because she shared the recipe with me.
I don't think I've ever quite forgiven her for that.
So here we go. Lots of pictures to make this look complicated, but it's really not. Even a caveman could do it.
First, assemble your ingredients. Three, to be precise. Dates, bacon, and gorgonzola cheese.
Then line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Makes cleanup much easier.
Next, cut a pound of bacon in half, like this.
Now check out those dates. See how they come with a nifty hole right in the middle? That's where the pit would go if they weren't pitted dates.
Then, with the tip of your knife, flick off little pieces of the gorgonzola. Kind of like this.
I ask you. Is there anything better than a block of gorgonzola cheese? Except for English Stilton--I am a total sucker for English Stilton with a nice glass of wine--but, puh-leeze, my kids need Christmas presents.
If you're really careful and really lucky, you might have a little bit of gorgonzola left over for a sandwich the next day. Take it from me, blue cheese (or gorgonzola) with very thinly sliced apples (and maybe even a little leftover cooked bacon) on some French bread makes THE BEST grilled cheese sandwich you've ever had.
But I digress . . .
Next, very carefully open up the date and press a chunk of gorgonzola inside it. Be careful not to cut all the way through the date. You might have to smoosh the cheese inside and close it up again.
Then wrap the whole thing up in a piece of bacon and secure it with a toothpick. Just like this. And put it on the baking sheet.
Repeat about 40 or 50 times until the bacon and the dates are gone, but not the cheese because you know what we do with the leftover cheese. *wink, wink*
Now, preheat the oven to about 375 or 400 and bake these babies for about 20 minutes. Just be sure to keep an eye on them--once they're done, they're done, and after that they burn pretty quickly.
Serve them up on a pretty platter and watch them go. Fast!
But be careful to keep an eye on that pretty platter because rather than being set out with all the other dishes that need to go home with their owners, your platter might just end up stuck in a corner of the kitchen with a purse on top of it. Hmmmm. I'm just sayin'.
Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Gorgonzola Cheese
1 10 oz. package whole pitted dates
1 1 lb. package bacon
1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
2. Carefully slit the dates open on one side. Place a piece of cheese inside the date, then close. Wrap each date with bacon and secure with a toothpick. Place dates on baking sheet.
3. Bake until bacon is cooked and browned, about 20-25 minutes.
4. Drain on paper towels. Let cool slightly before serving.