August 23, 2012 § Leave a comment
When entertaining a modest sized group, say about 8-12 guests (more than that and I’ll need help in the kitchen), I like serving tapas. Many of the dishes would need very little preparation or cooking. I won’t have to slave it out in the kitchen and guests are given a variety to choose from. Load up on reds and whites and you’re good to go. A fun way to entertain and be entertained, if you ask me.
I’d usually prepare plates of olives, 3-4 kinds of cheese – 1 hard like Manchego and/or a not so hard like Gruyère, a soft cheese like brie, and I usually go for a cream cheese spread like Boursin. These are great to go with Jamon Serrano and sliced baguette. Chorizo, rendered in its own oil, are always present in my table too. Include a few heavy dishes – a pasta salad or a meat dish perhaps – and this takes care of filling up the tummy.
A friend sent me a box of honey dates from the Middle East. A nice snack it makes but I thought these would go better with bacon. Bacon wrapped dates – I once had this in a tapas bar and fell in love with it. Served this as part of my tapas selection recently and my friends loved it too.
This dish can be prepared ahead of time and cooked when guests arrive. The dates that are soaked in honey while easily caramelizes the bacon (so be careful not to burn), gives that added sweet contrast that makes this dish a winner in my books. Sweet, salty with a hint of smoky aroma… Yum!
Bacon Wrapped Dates
What You’ll Need
- Honey dates or dried dates
- Bacon strips
What You Do
- Slice dates lengthwise on one side to remove the pit.
- Fill the empty cavities of the dates with cashews.
- Push the sides together to close the dates up. Wrap a slice of bacon around each date and place them seam side down.
- Heat a small flat pan, preferably cast iron, on medium heat. Place the bacon wrapped dates, seam side down on the pan until the bottoms are brown and the seam is sealed.
- Turn and brown all the other sides. Serve immediately.