Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Datiles con Tocino

We're continuing on with our week of Spanish Tapas! We had such a great time this past weekend and we're sharing the recipes we prepared in our Spanish Tapas cooking party. If you're ever in the Chicagoland area, please come join us as we're hosting a themed cooking party each month. This month we featured Spanish tapas and next month it will be Cuban fare for our Havana Nights cooking party. We'd love to have you join us! So back to tapas... a popular favorite and that is a must on our Spanish table is Datiles con Tocino. Translated, it's sweet pitted dates stuffed with manchego & iberico cheeses that are wrapped with applewood bacon and baked until crisp. These are highly addictive so you have been warned!...

This recipe is super easy. Three ingredients is all you need and these are even great to make with children! Some tips... if you have an ethnic market in your area, I would look for pitted dates there. I've found ethnic markets will have pitted dates at a more reasonable price than the usual national chain supermarkets. As for the Spanish cheeses, you can substitute them with parmesan or asiago. Any hard grating cheese works well if you can't find traditional Spanish cheeses. Lastly, for the bacon, it doesn't have to be applewood bacon. You can even use maple bacon if you'd like for a touch of sweetness. If you're looking to cut calories, try turkey bacon! And if you're vegetarian, omit the bacon all together and just bake the cheese stuffed dates... they're delicious too!

Datiles con Tocino
recipe adapted from Emilio

16 organic dates, pitted
8 slices applewood smoked bacon, cut in half
1/4 pound Manchego or Iberico cheese, diced small

Stuff each date with a small cube of cheese
Wrap half a piece of bacon around each date.
Bake in 500-degree oven until bacon is done, about 10 minutes.