Thursday, July 7, 2011

Gorgonzola Dates

Gorgonzola dates are one of my favorite go to appetizers for dinner parties, both those hosted in my home and those at friends houses. There are many reasons to love this appetizer: it's simple, transportable and so delicious. The dates have a sweetness about them that pairs perfectly with the strong flavor produced by the gorgonzola and the saltiness of the bacon. The combination is both delicious and completely addicting so do yourself a favor and reserve this for evenings when you can share it with friends, otherwise you may end up eating the whole plate yourself!

Please forgive the lack of step by step photos in this post. I completely forgot to take photos while I was making this and the result was too good not to share anyways!

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Gorgonzola Dates

Medjool dates
Applewood smoked bacon (1 slice per 3 dates)
Wedge of firm, aged gorgonzola cheese
2 medium lemons
White pepper
Kosher salt
1 stick of butter chilled, cut into 8 pieces
Balsamic Vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut slices of bacon into three even pieces and set aside.  With a small paring knife cut a slit length wise in each date and remove seed within.  Cut a small piece of gorgonzola from the cheese wedge and fill date with gorgonzola so that date is fully stuffed.    Take a piece of bacon and wrap around the stuffed date, securing with a toothpick.  Place date seam side down on a greased rimmed baking sheet.  Once you have all your dates stuffed and wrapped, bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until bacon is browned and slightly crispy.

While the dates are cooking in the oven squeeze the juice of 2 medium lemons into a small medium-bottomed saucepan.  Add a pinch of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of white pepper to the juice and boil until reduced to 1 tablespoon.  Remove from heat and immediately whisk in 2 pieces of butter until melted.  Place pan over very low heat and whisk in butter one piece at a time until all pieces are incorporated into a creamy sauce.  Remove from heat and set aside until dates are done cooking.

When dates are ready, remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes.  Cover the bottom of your serving plate with lemon butter sauce, it should have thickened some as it cooled and drizzle some balsamic vinegar on top of the sauce.  Place the dates on the sauce and serve.

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