Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Gorgonzola Cheese

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
Gorgonzola cheese

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.


Kay said...

Shelly, This sounds WONDERFUL! Can t wait to try the recipe, and I will.

In your husband s defense, I have to admit that I ve often made little slices of hot dog wieners wrapped in bacon and cooked the same way. They really are very good, especially with the man crowd. However, your recipe sounds so much more elegant and sophisticated. And I m nothing if not sophisticated, of course! So I ll be giving it a try this Christmas.

Thanks for the great recipe and Merry Christmas!

Kay said...

Oh, I forgot! I do pour brown sugar over all the bacon wrapped wieners before baking them. Important!

Shelly @ Life on the Wild Side said...

Hi Kay!! Thanks so much for stopping by--I love hearing from you! Hmmm. The brown sugar might be a very nice addition to these indeed. Thanks. :)

Jennifer Merck said...

Can you please check to see if I m drooling? Thanks.

Jodi said...

My mouth is watering, but I can t tell if it s from the appetizer or the grilled cheese idea. I want to try both! Right now, actually, because they both sound much better than the tuna fish I had planned for lunch.

Maybe you ll need to make these again in a couple weeks???

Angie said...

I was going to tell you about the hot dog/bacon/brown sugar thing, too. Sounds sinful. . .it is. But really, really good.

These sound great, too. B cracks me up!

Brizo Brown said...

Who would wrap pork with more pork? Honey, haven t you ever heard of bacon wrapped port tenderloin and bacon wrapped pork chops? I call them pigs in a pig blanket.


Kay said...

Ok, I bought the stuff! I ll make them this weekend and let you know what I think. can t wait.

Shelly @ Life on the Wild Side said...

Kay--be sure to let me know how they turn out. And if they taste at all like cocktail weiners wrapped in bacon! :)

dmswelch3 said...

These sound wonderful! A friend of mine brought something like this (no cheese) to my house last year and they were a huge hit. Thanks for providing the recipe...I m so making these!

Sheroll said...

I would have never willingly eaten a date until I had these little gems at a party - yummy!

Musings of a Housewife said...

You are an evil, evil woman for posting this. ;-)

Mrs. Webfoot said...


If you eat a few of these along with some Triscuits and an olive or two, you have a well balanced meal, right?

These have to be tried.

Shawna said...

Hi there,
I just had these for the first time at a wedding reception this past Saturday. They are superb! A google search led me to your page. Thanks so much for the recipe and pictures.

Anonymous said...

My wife and had these "Cheap Dates" at the Table Mesa Bistro in Bentonville, AR, last week. They were served with chipotle mayo. They were surprising delicious. We bought the ingredients and are planning on making them for ourselves.