Thursday, January 21, 2010
Wrap anything in bacon and I’ll try it, at least once. Wrap something sweet with salty bacon and stuff it with cheese and I am probably going to get addicted. If you haven’t been to AOC in Los Angeles, you should know that you can feed your addiction to the perfect combination of sweet, salty and cheesy with Suzanne Goin’s bacon-wrapped dates. The first time I had them I was hooked and have ordered them on every subsequent visit (and there have been many).
It’s hard to believe that such a flavorful appetizer is made up of only three ingredients, but its simplicity makes it an easy dish to recreate at home. The first time I made these I replaced the bacon with what I saw as a more sophisticated option – prosciutto. Mistake. Serious mistake. This dish is perfect as is. Don’t mess with it.
When Gourmet printed this recipe in their October 2005 issue, they allotted three dates per person. I have modestly increased that number to five per person. People will not be able to stop eating these so make sure you make plenty.
Adapted from Suzanne Goin
Makes 30, allow 5 per person
10 slices of bacon cut crosswise into thirds
3 - 4 oz of Parmigiano-Reggiano, broken or cut into small pieces about the size of a date pit
Preheat oven to 450*
If the dates are not already pitted, use a paring knife to make a small slit to remove the pit. Replace the pit with a piece of parmesan and reform the date around the cheese. Wrap each date with a piece of bacon. Place on a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until the bacon is browned (cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your bacon). Remove from the oven and serve immediately while still warm.