I ate this lovely appetizer for the first time at a restaurant in Rhinebeck, New York called Liberty Public House. The restaurant occupies a historic space in an even more historic town, in New York’s Hudson Valley. And Back in my culinary school days, the new restaurant served dates… stuffed with blue cheese… wrapped in bacon.
The dish on ‘devils on horseback’ or bacon-wrapped dates
That’s right, bacon-wrapped dates with a surprise of umami inside. Oh yes, let freedom reign. And do so with three ingredients that come together in a flash.
First, we date
Sweet, cloying, satisfying dates. Slice a long cut in each and remove the pit. Then pry the sugary palm fruit open to make room for….
Then we blue (cheese)
No further explanation necessary. Roquefort, Gorgonzola, Point Reyes, you can’t go wrong. Cut or squeeze small pieces of cheese off the wedge (or buy crumbled), and press as much as you can fit inside the date.
The best goes last
I know I had you at bacon. In the name of health, however – and even if you’re on a keto diet like Husband here – eat bacon occasionally. And go for bacon cured from heritage pork, or at least pork raised on an all vegetarian feed without antibiotics.
Now back to the point. Next wrap the bacon strips around the cheese-stuffed dates, and secure with a toothpick. Line a sheet pan with an oven-proof rack (or foil or parchment).
Roast at 425° F until the bacon is nicely browned, between 20 and 35 minutes depending on how crispy you like your bacon. A rack is not essential, but makes for even cooking and helps the excess fat drip away. Lining the pan with foil or parchment makes for easy clean up.
Go old school on a open fire
For a more rustic ride, slide the little villains onto skewers and gallop outside to your grill. Since it’s so darn hot to cook inside the home of the brave half the year.
But really, who cares how you cook them? It’s bacon, blue cheese and dates. Do what’s easiest for you. And God bless America, and its little devils on horseback (or at the table).