Monday, September 26, 2011

Bacon Versatility

You know what's delicious? Bacon. You know what's bad for you? Also, sadly, bacon.

As a general rule I would never make this snack day in its entirety again. And that is because for the 5 recipes that I made, I used 1.5lbs of bacon... It was a little bit too much. Some of what I made I didn't like and will show pictures of, but don't feel the necessity to type out recipes for. Somethings just didn't work.

Fun fact: Apple slices wrapped in bacon will explode  long before the bacon is finished.

Blue-Cheese Stuffed Dates... Wrapped in Bacon

Remember last week as I used delicious blue cheese stuffed olives? Well blue cheese is delicious and not limited to stuffing only a single item. This time I did the stuffing myself. I thought that this might seem like a daunting task for those less familiar with cooking so I thought ahead and actually took some pictures of the process as well.

All you need is a knife, a chopping block and your ingredients.

Pitted Dates--I had about 2 dozen
Blue Cheese--you can use part of a block, but I used about half of a container of the crumbled stuff
Pecans, about half a cup chopped coarsely
Bacon--about half a package with slices cut into thirds.

Preheat oven to 375F

Mix your blue cheese and chopped up pecans. I sort of mushed them together with a fork.
I actually mixed about twice as much as I needed... have to find something delicious for leftovers
Take your dates and slice length wise through one side. Since you have pitted dates there will probably be a hole somewhere where the date was removed. I like to use that hole as my starting point since otherwise when you go to stuff the date there's a hole in it if you don't.

Try not to eat delicious dates.
You may be tempted to hold the date in your hand and slice it up in the air because you're tall and the counter is slightly too low to be really comfortable to cut on... resist that urge! Because, somewhat strangely, you can miss the date and slice your finger. Hurting yourself is bad. People also will generally not be fans of eating your blood. Unless you hang out with an "alternative" crowd... then slice away.


Fill the date with a pinch of blue cheese mixture and close up... Because they're sticky they stay closed on their own and don't really need a tooth pick or anything.
ta da!
Wrap each date with a third a slice of bacon. A lot of recipes that deal with bacon wrapped goods seem to think that you must secure the bacon with a toothpick. You really don't. The fat in the bacon is sort of stretchy to get a tight fit and also sticks to itself. Kind of like pork-plastic wrap.

Place the dates on a jelly roll pan or in a baking dish. Bake for 18 minutes (approximately) flip and bake another 5 minutes.

While not the most colorful and attractive appetizer, these are one of the most delicious things I've ever made. They are sweet, salty, creamy, and crunchy in just the right proportion. Plus they're easy and seem fancier than they are.

Bacon Breadsticks

This was really tasty and just ridiculously easy to make. Nathan (my husband) really liked them and I think they are a terrific "man food".

Sesame Breadsticks (I found them with the fancy crackers)
Bacon cut in half


Pre-heat oven to 400F

Wrap each bread stick with bacon. Place on a baking sheet with sides. Bake10 minutes. Flip and bake another 5 minutes.

Place on paper towel lined plate and let cool. If you eat them right out of the oven they are soggy.

Eat plain or dip in some spicy mustard.

 I also made some bacon wrapped water chestnuts which I didn't particularly care for (Nathan ate the whole thing), bacon wrapped shrimp, and bacon wrapped scallops.

I wouldn't make any of them again (didn't like the scallops at all... not sure if it was me or the scallops or the cooking method) so I'm not going to take the time to share the recipes (in brief, wrap with bacon, bake). I'll post a link to the water chestnut recipe in case anyone thinks that sounds appealing.

Nathan with bacon-wrapped feast
Next week I think I'm going to on the less fatty side of things, especially since Saturday we will be enjoying the Pennsylvania Renaissance Festival which is already full of less than healthy items.

bacon wrapped water chestnuts

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