Bacon-Wrapped Dates – The Only Hot Date I’ve Had All Year, Even Though it’s Only January

bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with brie cheese

The original draft of this post was a long, thoughtful dissertation on dating, which was the set-up for Brie-stuffed, bacon-wrapped dates that were a starter at a mostly-Spanish not-really-tapas tapas dinner party I had.

Instead, let’s just talk about how original good intentions can take an unexpected turn and unfurl into ick.

I intended to write about dating, and what clicked through my keyboard and onto the screen, while therapeutic, ended up being *ahem* a little too therapeutic for public consumption.

I intended to re-create the roasted dates stuffed with parmesan and wrapped with bacon that I had devoured at an LA restaurant that nearly sent me into cardiac arrest with excitement, and what came out of my oven, while close enough to delicious, ended up looking like *ahem* something not quite suitable for consumption.

(The restaurant at which I ate the original bacon-wrapped dates shall remain nameless for now because likely at least four weeks will transpire before I get to write up my almost-orgasmic experience there, and I just can’t bear to play hard to get with myself for that long. If you must know, let’s just flirt around the restaurant’s identity – the name has three letters which do not spell out a word. Because I’m easy like that, I’ll even tell you that the letters are: C, A, and O, but I’m not going to tell you in what order they’re supposed to be because I’m also an international woman of mystery like that! Yeah, baby, yeah! *raises eyebrows*)

So, these particular dates, the fruit kind, just like dates, the people kind, don’t deserve very much attention. They had so much potential. *sigh* Don’t they all? But in the end, it just didn’t work out the way my heart was hopefully expecting. Of course, it’s all my own silly silly fault. With my inability to accept the date exactly as is, I tried to change him to what I thought was more a more “sophisticated” and “gentle” Brie, but is it surprise that I was unsuccessful? Of course not. External factors can be changed, like a light glaze with reduced balsamic vinegar, but internal, personality-defining characteristics should be left alone. The too-soft Brie cheese oozed out of the dates long before the bacon had crisped.

Timing was off as well, which is why they *ahem* burned. I’ve got to learn how to pay more attention instead of getting absorbed in all the other things that are seemingly more important.

Or at least, remember to f–king set a timer.

Ah well, it’s wonderful to be surrounded with friends who will drink with me over a date debacle and insist that it isn’t me, that I’m amazing, and for God’s sake it’s bacon.

Bacon-wrapped Dates Recipe

from AOC via epicurious, as ruinified by TheDelicious

Preheart (not a typo) oven to 400°F.

Slice a date lengthwise and wrestle out the pit. Stuff a small piece of Parmesan cheese into the date. (Like I said, I used brie, which was a total mistake. Don’t get creative with the cheese. Okay, get creative, but stick with a cheese that is hard, or at least semi-hard. This also goes for dates. In every sense.) Wrap a half slice of bacon around the date and place with seam down on baking sheet (greased? ungreased? it’s bacon — what do you think about needing to grease the pan?) You could also “secure” the bacon with a toothpick, but that’s too much effort for me. Repeat with all dates.

Bake for 5 minutes, rotate sheet, turn each date over, and bake for another 5 minutes or until hot. Okay, out of context, that just sounds funny. I can’t help it. Sometimes I have the mind of a 13 year old.

More Bacon-Wrapped Dates Around the Web:
~ Allrecipes has a version with blue cheese
~ Dave Lieberman stuffs his dates with ricotta; I wish Dave Lieberman would stuff my dates with…oh never mind.
~ Goat cheese and almonds for the Bacon Show that looks like it’s based on…
~ a Goat Cheese and Almond Stuffed Dates recipe from Red Cat restaurant in NY, via Saveur.com
~ Almonds for Martha Stewart’s bacon wrapped dates, too, but leaves out the cheese completely (huh?)

** this post originally published on 01.31.2006 **

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  • plau

    Something’s wrong with my eyes.

    I thought this was.. err.. an insect :(

    I’ve never had a date as anything other than .. a date.. or a date shake :)

  • nosh

    C I A O without the I? ORCA, specializing in killer whale, missing the R?

    Could it be that they blanch or otherwise precook the bacon a bit before wrapping around the dates and cheese to simplify the baking and timing?

    Speaking of dates and dating, have you seen the “Number 1 Single” series on E! featuring Lisa Loeb, formerly of the Food Channel with her ex, Dweezil???

  • Daily Gluttony

    Ms. Sarah, you actually MADE the bacon wrapped dates??? As in THE bacon wrapped dates??? Girl, you are my hero.

    Shoot, next time make me some. =D

  • sarah

    plau: yes, well, i just realized that they do have a wee bit of an insectine quality!

    nosh: haven’t seen the liza loeb thing, but i do remember catchng an episode of the show she and dweezil had on the food network and thought it to be a little…weird. LOL!

    l.a.c.: what does your comment have to do with bacon-wrpped dates?!?!

    pam: i attempted to make them. they turned really ugly, but they didn’t taste too bad.

  • sarah

    oh and pam, you can make them, too! (the gnome would love them, i’m sure!)

    AFTER i made them at home, someone pointed me to a recipe that was printed in gourmet mag last fall – inspired by the restaurant:

    18 (1- by 1/4-inch) sticks Parmigiano-Reggiano
    18 pitted dates
    6 bacon slices, cut crosswise into thirds

    Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F.

    Stuff 1 piece of cheese into each date, then wrap 1 piece of bacon around each date, securing it with a pick. Arrange dates 1 inch apart in a shallow baking pan.

    Bake 5 minutes, then turn dates over with tongs and bake until bacon is crisp, 5 to 6 minutes more. Drain on a paper bag or parchment. Serve immediately.

    Makes 6 hors d’oeuvre servings.

  • puppychao

    Suzanne sure can come up with some amazing food…I’m gonna have to try this idea at home…

  • Eve

    i thought the dates were delicious

  • Anonymous

    That’s a pretty disgusting picture. You shouldn’t have posted it. Now I feel sick.

  • sarah

    puppychao: most definitely try it, and let us know how it turns out! someone also mentioned using prosciutto ham instead, in which case, there is no danger of the burn. might have to try that next time.

    eve: i love you!

    anonymous: yes, quite nasty to be sure. in fact, plau thought they were bugs. but i am not afraid to show my mistakes.

  • marissa

    hi sarah – I was also going to suggets prosciutto – I’ve made the dates with goat cheese and prosciutto. I throw them in the oven just long enough for the cheese to melt and the prosciutto also just sort of melts into the date a little. it doesn’t get crisp but you get the combination of sweet and salty. when fresh figs are in season, I do the same – serve it with a little mesclun and balsamic. it goes over big.

  • sarah

    ah yes, in a cookbook i have on my cocktail table, there is a recipe for dates stuffed with goat cheese and some other luscious thing i can’t remember, but i do believe they weren’t roasted – prbably a good idea for any cheese that is soft.

    figs are some of my favorites! i love them stuffed or wrapped with anything – cheeses, prosciutto – or nothing. can’t wait for them to come back into season!

  • Nina

    I’ve only had them with blue cheese and parmigiano… I’ll have to try them with brie next. You’re right about their looks — I usually just grab hold of one, close my eyes, and anticipate the flavor. :)

  • Anonymous

    they sound absolutely devine! but didn’t turn out so well? who cares about presentation anyway? goes to the same place, as my caveman boyfriend would say. :)

  • Maure

    Long before the Coachella music
    festival and bottled-water sale-abration, was the Date festival of Indio.
    Once there I had a tamale with a pork & date filling and salsa verde. Now that is a truly sublime way to treat a date.
    Also dates, warm goat cheese and pomegranete seeds are an excellent
    bite-sized niblet.
    happy valentines day to all and please remember to tip well and often.

  • hermz

    Those tasted fantastic. If, as you say, they were poor facsimiles of what you’d had earlier, then I insist that you include me on a return trip.

  • sarah

    nina and anonymous: but looks count. especially here in LA. LOL! (just kidding)

    maure: oh no, you mentioned coachella! i don’t know which is better – the music or the dates. eesh – wouldn’t it be awesome to have them side by side?!

    hermz: we go! (small bites definitely fit into my diet ;) )

  • Maure

    sarah: music or dates – the eternal question.
    I’d have to say the coachella music
    for it’s singular time and place,
    whereas dates (wait, which kind are we talking about?) grow on trees – so I’ve heard.
    Now going to th Coachella festival and consuming a cold date shake with boba may well send one to the
    first aid tent.

  • Maure

    sarah: music or dates – the eternal question.
    I’d have to say the coachella music
    for it’s singular time and place,
    whereas dates (wait, which kind are we talking about?) grow on trees – so I’ve heard.
    Now going to th Coachella festival and consuming a cold date shake with boba may well send one to the
    first aid tent.

  • H. C.

    Being the non-baker that I am, wondering if there’s an oven-free version that’s circulating around the IntarWebs — oh well, something for me to look into. And by that I mean procrastinate on ;)

  • H. C.

    Being the non-baker that I am, wondering if there’s an oven-free version that’s circulating around the IntarWebs — oh well, something for me to look into. And by that I mean procrastinate on ;)

  • Anonymous

    my boyfriend is head chef for a catering company and i have helped them make these for numerous events. SO GOOD. but might i suggest using feta? that’s what we use. the saltiness and consistency match the date perfectly. you bite through the crispy bacon to be greeted by sweet and salty gooey goodness. after being introduced to the recipe, i have since made them successfully at home as well. perfect finger food.

  • Robin

    These are one of the finer food gems that exist. I had them at a party and have thought of them since. Now with a recipe I have no excuse but to get my wrap on…my next guest will thank you.

  • Anonymous

    I am a executive chef, we have them on our Hors’d menu, but we stuff them with blue cheese they are yummy

  • Megan

    I’ve only had them stuffed with an almond and I love them!!! But, I’ll have to try them with all the cheeses mentioned in the comments.
    Goat, blue cheese, feta, and of course parmesan. I kind of like the buggy look of them. LOL

  • Megan

    I’ve only had them stuffed with an almond and I love them!!! But, I’ll have to try them with all the cheeses mentioned in the comments.
    Goat, blue cheese, feta, and of course parmesan. I kind of like the buggy look of them. LOL

  • Kevin

    These dates sound so good!

  • Sonya

    Love Goins’ AOC and love these dates…although, yeah, they aren’t aesthetically pleasing to look at. I wonder if they’d look better as sweet/savory lollies (little skewer-type sticks in them) sitting on some kind of leafy/herb green (basil, arugula, etc.) sort of to detract away from the obvious visual implications…

    p.s. For those into Coachella, they just published this year’s line-up. I WISH they served this kinda food there!

  • Gabi

    Sarah! Seems like you did an excellent job at wrapping the dates! I learned about these at the Chicago Chopping block cooking school.

    The bacon-wrapped dates version I made included drizzles of Cream of Balsamic – you mentioned also reduces balsamic vinegar.

    Lovely – and I have to say that I enjoy your writing style greatly!!

    Gabi @ mamaliga.

  • http://koshercamembert.com Zahavah

    too funny, and i can’t even eat bacon! love the commentary on the, er, “date.”

  • Garymtx

    Wow..When I did a search for bacon wrapped dates, This is not what I expected.

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