(see notes below)
20 large Medjool dates, pitted
10 slices bacon, halved crosswise
4 oz. log of chevre (see notes)
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil and, for easiest clean-up and uniformly crisp bacon, set wire racks on top.You can bake these without the racks, but they come out an oily mess and you will need to drain the devils on paper towels
- Halve the dates lengthwise with a knife, being careful not to cut all the way through, or use your finger to make a small pouch.
- Take a small chunk of chèvre (about ½ to 1 teaspoon) and push it into the date, but don’t overfill. Wrap each filled date in bacon and secure with a toothpick.
- Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the bacon is fully crisped. Before plating, pat dates with a paper towel to remove excess grease.
Variations on a theme: There are any number of adaptations of this recipe: wrapping bacon around chicken livers, for example, or stuffing the dates with blue cheese, cheddar, or cream cheese. You can also add a sliver of almond or half a couple of shelled pistachios. And there are Angels on Horseback: bacon wrapped around scallops or oysters, but these, at the moment, are a bigger investment in appetizers than I’m willing to make.
Freezing ahead: Plop the dates, sans toothpicks, into a covered plastic container, or wrap in foil, and freeze until a few hours before baking. They also keep nicely in the fridge for a few days.
Staggeringly rich: “These are really good but heavy,” remarked my ex (more about him later), who consumed two, and then packed away a couple more. Two or three of these should have you searching the buffet table for the raw vegetables, but I found that four or five with a small green salad made a lovely supper for one (at probably around 1000 calories). When I remember the foods from my childhood, I’m kind of appalled at how liberally we indulged in fatty meats, cream, butter, cheese, but things will get lighter as we move along.