Thursday, December 17, 2009

Crispy Bacon-Wrapped Dates

One of the most delicious Spanish tapas. I made it for years in Italy, every time surprising my guests, and today for the first time in India [that's how i saved my bacon].

  • Pitted dates
  • Slices of bacon or pancetta [half slice for each date]
  • Wooden toothpicks
  • Rosemary
  • Chopped almonds to garnish
Optional fillings:
  • Toasted almonds
  • Parmigiano chunks
  • Goat cheese
  1. The simplest and best way is to wrap each date with pancetta or bacon and cook them [both sides] in a nonstick frying pan over medium heat until the bacon is browned and crisp.
  2. Or, if you have a big party, broiling them under a grill makes it easier. Turn them with tongs once.
  3. Drain on a kitchen paper. Garnish with chopped almonds and serve at room temperature.
I like also to fill the dates with Parmigiano the size of the pit [i.e. small], and add fresh rosemary leaves while cooking.
Toasted almonds are usually loved as filling but according to me are too big and contrasting with the smoothness of the dates. You bite this delicious surprising treat and when you reach the almond you feel like oh my gosh there is a pit here i am going to break my teeth. Well, even if you know there is an almond, the feeling can be disturbing, but that doesn't mean that you are not going to like it. Try it.
Securing it with a pick is also not really necessary if you wrap the date with a whole slice of bacon, but can be useful when you pick them up, or if you like to use half or even one third of a slice, then you really need a stick.

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