Sunday, February 26, 2012

Dates with Goat Cheese, a snacking experiment

Tonight, we decided to experiment with a snack my older daughter and I enjoy making every now and then; goat cheese stuffed dates.  Normally, we just whip them together and have at it, but this time we decided to experiment a bit. We're pretty happy with how they turned out.  Here are the results.

Ingredients:

Experimenting with dates

Plain goat cheese.  We usually buy the type that comes in logs about 6 inches long, and for the batch we made (24 dates), we used half of one.

Experimenting with dates

Honey. The first time we made this, we used maple syrup, but we're out of that, so honey it was. 

Experimenting with dates

Dates.  The kind with the pits still in them.

Usually, this is all we use, but this time we added...

Experimenting with dates

... bacon.  The slices were cut in half, half-cooked and drained on paper towel.

Method:

Experimenting with dates

The first step is to split the dates lengthwise and remove the pits, leaving the dates in one, hinged piece.

Experimenting with dates

Next, mix some honey into the goat cheese, adjusting quantity to taste, but enough that the cheese becomes smooth and creamy in texture.

Experimenting with dates

Stuff the split dates with spoonfuls of filling.  We did 1/3rd of the dates this way.  They can be eaten at this point.  They're quite bold tasting and very sweet, so it doesn't take much to satisfy a craving!

Experimenting with dates

Another third of the dates were wrapped in the half-cooked bacon, then they and the remaining plain ones were put under a 450F broiler.  For the plain ones, they were left until the filling started to show some browning.  The wrapped ones needed a bit more time to finish browning the bacon.

Experimenting with dates

The plain broiled ones were quite good; the flavours mellowed out a fair bit, and the dates had a much smoother texture.  Very nice.

Experimenting with dates

The bacon wrapped ones were AWESOME!!!!  That touch of saltiness made an amazing difference! 

Will definitely be doing them this way in the future.



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