One of my favorite restaurants back home is called Firefly. They serve tapas and delicious sangria! I don’t go very often because I get myself into trouble. I order the sangria, I order their parmesan fries, the manchego mac ‘n’ cheese, the bacon wrapped dates are a must, the gazpacho and I could just go on. I really enjoy everything on their menu, it’s hard to choose a favorite. Well I take that back. Bacon makes EVERYTHING taste better, including dates that have been stuffed with a smoked almond and blue cheese, wrapped in bacon. You can’t just eat one either, so you must order at least 2 plates. I decided to do my own take on the bacon wrapped dates. After seeing all this bacon lately, I’ve been inspired. I don’t know if I’ll bake with it but cooking more with it I don’t have a problem!
Stuffed Dates By Fallon
18 whole pitted medjool dates
18 whole smoked almonds
9 strips of low sodium bacon, cut in half
1/4 cup goat cheese (chevre)
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet with foil. You can spray with cooking spray to make sure they don’t stick, but I think the bacon will take care of that!
Cut a slit into each date and remove the pit. Set an almond into the dates and stuff with 1/2 teaspoon of goat cheese. Place on a baking sheet. Cut 9 slices of bacon into half. Take a date and wrap the half slice of bacon around it. Take a toothpick and insert to insure the bacon won’t unwrap. Bake for 25 minutes.
On the stove top, in a medium sized pot, heat up the balsamic vinegar till it starts to boil. Stir every so often so it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Once it comes to a boil, reduce to medium-low heat and add in the sugar. Continue to cook and stir gently till it starts to reduce and becomes like a thick syrup. Keep on very low heat till ready to drizzle on top of dates.
After 25 minutes take the dates out of oven and they should already be crisp on the top. Flip them over and bake for 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and rest.
Place on a plate and drizzle balsamic reduction on top. Sprinkle with remaining goat cheese and serve!
While I’m home this week I’ll be enjoying myself at Firefly. Bring on the stuffed dates!! I can’t remember the last time I dined there, so this will be a treat. Can’t wait!