Dining out is a special treat and one that I try to take advantage of whenever I can. Especially because I live in the food capital of America-New York City. It provides not only for a delicious meal, but research and inspiration.
This past week I had the pleasure of dining at Boqueria, a tapas restaurant located in Manhattan. I’ve heard rave reviews about this tiny, bustling hotspot ever since I moved here, and I was eager to partake in their authentic small plates. The meal was everything I’d hoped for and more, with one dish in particular standing out as a must-try: Datiles con Beicon, or Bacon-Wrapped Dates.
Think of them as a bacon-wrapped candy-warm, gooey, cheesy, salty, and sweet-all the things I look for in a balanced bite. Dates are a fruit that come from the date palm tree, found in California and northern Africa, and have a chewy texture with flavors of honey and syrup. With their seeds are removed, there is ample room for stuffing with a wide variety of ingredients. At Boqueria they are served stuffed with Marcona almonds and Valdeon cheese.
On Sunday, I recreated these tasty tapas wonders, using goat cheese and toasted almonds as my filling. They are simple to make and can be prepared in advance. And, as proved in my house, they will be gobbled up in a flash. With awards season and super bowl parties approaching, these are the perfect appetizer to please any crowd.
Tara O’Keeffe is a food writer and founder of Funfearlessfoodie.com
Servings: makes 24
24 seedless dates, (can also be bought on the vine and pitted)
1 four-oz package goat cheese
24 unsalted almonds, toasted until fragrant
12 strips of bacon, cut in half
Wooden skewers, for serving (optional)
Photo: Tara O’Keeffe
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper and topped with a wire rack.
2. Cut a slit into the side of each date, spreading them open to fit the filling. Spoon a small amount of goat cheese into each date. Press one almond into the cheese filling and squeeze the sides of the date back together to enclose the filling.
3. Wrap each stuffed date with a piece of bacon so that all sides are covered. Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the bacon is golden and crispy.
4. Let cool slightly and place three dates onto each wooden skewer, or serve individually on a platter.