Saturday, January 16, 2010
Iron Chef Blogger Challenge: Bacon!
I am eating the most delicious thing right now. It's a Bacon Wrapped Date. You can see the photo, right up there. To be fair, the Lady and Sons Savannah Country Cookbook called it a Pecan Stuffed Date. Both are accurate, ingredient wise. However, I think the latter doesn't call enough attention to the fact that it is WRAPPED IN FREAKING BACON!
As you can probably tell, I really like bacon. I try not to eat a crazy amount of it, for health reasons, but man it's yummy. So, I was super pleased to find out this week that the secret ingredient for the Iron Chef Blogger Challenge was bacon.
I always sort of assumed that I didn't like dates. Pecan Stuffed Dates is the 1st recipe in the Lady and Sons Savannah Country Cookbook. I always just skimmed over it, thinking that it looked weird. I've been cooking out of this book for years, flipping through it quite often, and I only noticed a couple of months ago that the dates were also wrapped in bacon. Still.. dates.. I was unconvinced. Then, at a holiday party this year, bacon wrapped dates were served, and I was instantly won over.
The dates are sweet and a little chewy.. the bacon wrapped around it is salty and crispy, which is a lovely textural difference. And the pecan in the middle gets toasted and crunchy. All in all, it's a really delightful recipe - I highly recommend it.
You just get an 8 ounce bag of pitted dates (they're by the raisins. I learned this the hard way in Ralph's today), pecan halves, and bacon. The recipe says it yields 30, so I assume that is how many are in the bag. You'll need that many pecan halves (possibly less actually) and 10 slices of bacon.
Stuff a pecan half in each date. Sometimes I couldn't manage to fit a pecan half into each one, so I broke them into quarters. Cut a piece of bacon into 3 sections, wrap each section around 1 date. Secure it with a toothpick (I didn't do this, but I'd recommend it to help move them later). Bake it at 400 for 12-15 minutes. You should probably turn them part way through so the bacon can brown on both sides.
Below is a picture of the little guys wrapped up, ready to go in the oven. It's so easy I decided to only cook what I wanted to eat right now. The rest I'll make later this week. That was probably a wise decision, as I'm pretty sure I could eat several more right now if they were available.
There's been one more bacon recipe so far, and it looks amazing. Carrie made Spinach Bacon Potato Mille Feuille. Just click over and look at the picture, you'll want to try it even if it has an intimidating name.