Introduction: Bacon-wrapped, Cheese-stuffed Dates
There are lots of dates in the world... good dates, bad dates, first dates and blind dates. And then there are dates that are wrapped in bacon. And dates that are stuffed with cheese. Good dates, indeed, these.
I've brought these to lots of parties, and the response is always a winner. Something about the dates makes even normally healthy eaters think that maybe these are OK. And they are so much better than OK.
It takes about 30 minutes to prep 18 delicious morsels.
Step 1: What You Need / Prep Work
9 strips of thick-cut bacon
18 medjool dates (you could probably use others, but these are the right size and easy to seed)
A chunk of Parmeasan cheese
baking rack to fit in sheet
Pre-heat oven to 450 F.
Par-cook bacon in the microwave (~4 minutes between paper towels). I like it to be still very flexible, but no longer raw. This cuts the cooking time later, saving the cheese.
Cut up the cheese. It depends on the size of the dates. I like cheese sticks about 1/4" on a side, the same length as the dates.
Step 2: Seed the Dates
The first time I made these, I thought this part would be really tricky. It turns out to be incredibly easy. After the first couple you get the hang of it.
Take your thick skewer (mine are maybe 3/16"). The seed is sticking out on end of the date. Now, you could probably take the skewer and dig it out of that end, but you want to make a hole in the date big enough to shove some cheese in. So place the skewer against the seed and shove the seed all the way out the other side. You can feel when the seed is moving on top of the skewer... when it slips off, just fish around a bit until you get it moving again.
Eventually, the seed will burst through the other end of the date, leaving a nice cheese channel.
Step 3: Stuff 'em and Roll 'em
Stick a piece of cheese in where the seed used to be. If you are careful as you push, it is strong enough to go all the way in. If your cheese is too long, trim it off or it will drip.
Lay a stuffed date on a piece of bacon. Roll it up.
I go all the way around a leave about 1/4" of overlap. Trim the bacon with a sharp knife.
Stick a toothpick through the whole thing to keep it tidy. I find that the outer end (rather than the trimmed side) is sturdier for holding the toothpick. Go through the meat part rather than the fat part.
Step 4: Cook 'em Up
Lay the wrapped dates on the baking rack. Pop them in the 450F oven for 4-5 minutes.
After 4 minutes, flip them over. Cook for another 4 minutes or until the bacon looks done to your liking.
If possible, wait 5 minutes before eating. They come out hot.
Enjoy. Share with your friends.