Gorgonzola Dates

April 13, 2010

There are many dates in a year that stick out for one reason or another.  Birthdays, anniversaries, days that mark a momentous occasion just to name a few.  One of the most recent of these dates to remember would be Super Bowl Sunday 2010, the day I tasted my first Gorgonzola Date.

Until that fateful day I had not even tasted a date before, let alone consider it crave-worthy.  That all changed with just one bite.  We were at the house of a close friend’s father to watch the big game when he pulled these beauties out of the oven, placed them on a bed of lemon butter sauce and asked me if I wanted one.  They smelled wonderful, and who can resist anything with gourmet cheese and bacon?  Certainly not I!  The minute I placed that date in my mouth I was hooked.  Even more so when I was encouraged to pair this new delectable with a glass of bold red wine.  I think I controlled myself at consuming no more than 3 that night, but the memory would not leave.

I’ve secretly been looking for an occasion, any occasion really, to try my hand at this recipe.  That occasion came Saturday night as we hosted some friends for dinner.  This group was perfect to test my recipe on: they love good cheese, fine wine and adventure.  And it did not disappoint.  It was good to have my new friend back on my plate as I enjoyed good conversation and a glass of bold, red wine. 

This recipe is perfect for any social occasion when you want an impressive hors d’oeuvre that takes minimal effort for maximum results.

 Gorgonzola Dates

Ingredients
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.

Adapted from: family friend recipe; Mastering the Art of French Cooking

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One Response to “Gorgonzola Dates”

  1. Alyssa said

    They were so super yummy! I might need to try making them sometime. I love that they were easy, yet very impressive!

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