Recipe by Chicagoland Chef du Jour
This recipe was inspired by one of our favorite tapas dishes. It's just like we like remember it from our first date some 13 years ago. I incorporated 2 Zaar recipes to create this clone. All of this can be made ahead and warmed in the microwave before serving. The Sweet Red Bell pepper sauce really make this dish amazing! Thanks go out to go to: Julesong's Pasta with Sweet Red Pepper Sauce and cflethcher's A Date With a Pig. UPDATE: 11/2013 The restaurant uses applewood smoked bacon and roasted red pepper "butter sauce" so I will be trying these 2 latest additions and reporting back
- 1 lb bacon, uncooked, applewood is best
- 8 ounces pitted dates, the larger the better
- 1 -2 garlic clove
- 1⁄2 large red bell pepper, seeded, quartered
- 1⁄2 medium yellow onion
- 1⁄4 cup half-and-half cream, a little more if desired, can using whipping cream
- 1 -2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1⁄8 teaspoon salt (to taste)
Directions See How It's Made
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Soak round toothpicks in water for 15 minutes, this will prevent burning when baking.
- RED PEPPER SAUCE:.
- Place garlic cloves w/ peels on a baking dish and bake for 15 minutes.
- Rub pepper and onion with olive oil.
- After baking the garlic cloves for 15 minutes, add the red bell pepper and onion to the baking sheet and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until tender and roasted. It may take a bit longer.
- Squeeze the roasted garlic out of it's paper into a blender along with the roasted onion and bell pepper. *use a blender or small food processor.
- Blend until smooth. Slowly add olive oil until blended. * you may use more or less.
- Add salt.
- Slowly add half and half until creamy while blending.
- Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Warm in the microwave before serving.
- BACON WRAPPED DATES:.
- Cut bacon strips in half (making them 1/2 as long approximately 3").
- Microwave the strips for 2 minutes.
- Wrap each date with a 1/2 strip of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
- Spray a 4 sided cookie sheet with nonstick spray.
- Place all prepared dates in the cookie sheet.
- NOTE: If you have mini muffin pan, suspend the bacon wrapped date over each opening and the bacon fat will drip off into the muffin pan. This is my preferred method.
- Bake for approximately 15 minutes, turning once. *Important to turn.
- After turning, continue baking for an additional 10 minutes or until bacon brown and crispy or as desired.
- BAKING TIME may vary. Just be sure to watch carefully.
- Serve with sweet red pepper sauce for dipping or puddle the sauce on a plate and place the wrapped dates in the sauce.
- Note: Everything can be prepared and baked ahead of time and served later. Just warm through in the microwave for about 30 seconds.