Sunday, March 2, 2014

Manchego Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates

So I have an amazing little appetizer to share with you guys today!  I first started making these over the holiday season and they were a huge hit.  I mean, wrap just about anything in bacon and it will probably be a hit at a party...but still.  These are amazing.  And easy!

All you need are three ingredients - manchego cheese, pitted dates, and bacon.  I have discovered that if I don't buy the fancy Medjool kind that dates are actually very affordable, only $3 for a 16 oz container at my Publix, and they work great in this recipe.  Manchego cheese is the splurge ingredient for these, but I think it's important to stick to that type because it isn't overly melty so it doesn't leak all over the place, and has a nice mild nutty flavor.

Putting them together is very simple, and can be done ahead of time, so great for entertaining.  Start the prep by cutting the manchego into 1/2 inch chunks, putting slits in the dates, and cutting the bacon slices in half. 

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Then you assemble - stick the manchego inside the date, wrap it in a 1/2 slice of bacon, and secure with a toothpick.  Set aside.

When you're ready to cook them, preheat your broiler to 500 degrees and put the rack in the topmost position.  Line a baking sheet in foil, and if you have it available, a wire rack to elevate the bites (this will allow the bacon fat to drain and help it get more crisp).

Broil the bites for 7 minutes, then flip and broil for another 5-7 minutes, or until the bacon is cooked through and slightly crisp.  Allow to cool for about 5 minutes and serve.

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And watch them disappear!  I served these as our Valentines appetizer and Hubs and I devoured them in about five minutes flat.  SO good.

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