Saturday, December 15, 2012

Cambozola-Stuffed, Bacon-Wrapped Wild Black Dates

Aka the perfect holiday appetizer.

So how did I find these little beauties?  I think I've mentioned before that I started a cleaning company to pay for school.  I was at a client's house the other morning and we got to chatting.  Both being food lovers, we often trade recipes and good shops and general food chitter chatter.  This morning I was telling her about my recent bacon-makin' and she immediately seized on the opportunity to let me try "the most delicious thing I've ever eaten."  Seriously.  Unbelievably.  Delicious.

And so simple.  And so delicious.


The secret is to find the perfect ingredients.

I chose wild black dates from Ayoub's dried fruits and nuts on Denman.  If you live in Vancouver and haven't taken a visit to Ayoub's yet then I urge you to go.  Yes, urge.  Simply for the giant, ornate pewter containers that the nuts and fruits sit in, gorgeous.  He roasts the nuts himself and you can just tell that he takes what he does seriously.  I love food people like that and I love to support them.  So buy your dates from him.

The cambozola I purchased from Les Amis du Fromage - their Hastings location.  I've been wanting to check out this location and what a perfect opportunity.  The cheese lady recommended Fourme d'Ambert, a french cow's milk cheese.  It melted beautifully.

I am using my own bacon.  Salty, smoky deliciousness.

Directions

1) Cook the bacon to a nice level of doneness.  You want the bacon cooked through but still soft enough to wrap around the date and cheese.

2) As the bacon is cooking, cut a slit in the dates and pull the seed out.  Take a little chunk of cheese and stuff it into the date.  Take a piece of bacon and wrap it around the date - secure in place with toothpicks.

3) As this point you can either pop the delicious cheesy datey packages into the oven at 400 degrees until the cheese starts to ooze out or you can pop them in the fridge until you want to use them.

You know they're done when the cheese is melty and bubbly.

The Verdict

What a perfect holiday appetizer!  They are easy to make, can be made ahead of time, use cheese and bacon and are absolutely delicious!  I've served these on two separate occasions now and both times they were adored.

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Shonagh explores the guts of food in An Offal Experiment.

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