Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Tapas: February Food Club

What would you call these little tapas? What sobriquet could possible do justice to dates, stuffed with cheese, then wrapped in bacon? I pieced these together for February's Spanish/Tapas-themed food club. On my way over, I toyed with calling them Dates in A Pig Blanket, but that didn't seem terribly appealing. But when I got to food club, I was overjoyed to learn that these sweet and salty delicacies are known in some circles as Persians on Horseback. Perfect!

(Stay tuned for paella and more from food club!)

***
Persians on Horseback
(inspired by Jaleo's Dátiles con tocino como hace todo el mundo)

Have ready:
12 Medjool dates
2 ounces Manchego (or other hard, dryish cheese, I used smoked gouda)
1 lb. bacon

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Cut in each date in half and remove the pits. In each date half, place a small sliver (about half the size of the removed pit) of cheese:

(Apologies for the Georgia O'Keefe vibe, folks)

Press the edges of the date together to seal the cheese inside.

Wrap each halved, stuffed date in half a slice of bacon. (Note: This will seem like too much bacon, but use it all or your wrapping will come undone in the heat of the oven!).

Place the bacon-wrapped dates, seam side down, on a foil-covered cookie sheet. Bake for about 5 minutes, then turn and bake for 2-3 minutes more. Keep an eye on these little guys—they go from deliciously crispy to blackened quickly. Let them cool for a few minutes (these tapas redefine "hot date"!), then serve warm.

Enjoy as part of a delicious tapas feast!

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