It was about six years ago. I was having the loveliest little happy hour with a girlfriend at Vino, here in Los Angeles. They had a menu item called Delicias – bacon wrapped dates stuffed with blue cheese. One bite and I was in heaven.
Recreating this incredible dish with a wine pairing is always a hit when friends stop by for a little ‘chat and chew.’ What a great way to kick off the first Happy Hour series.
Though you can use any blue cheese, I’ve chosen St. Agur for this recipe as I like the strong taste against the sweetness of the dates and honey.
Our sommelier, Christopher Wisner, has picked out a great wine to go with this dish. St. Clement Chardonnay Carneros. Christopher explains, “This wine has enough acidity to cut through the richness of the cheese and bacon, and also has enough body to hold up to the weight of the dish. I find that there is something in well made California chardonnay that really goes well with dates.”
Save this recipe and pairing in your files for the next party, or for a night of indulging. It won’t disappoint.
BACON WRAPPED DATES W/BLUE CHEESE & HONEY◊
10 slices bacon
4-6 oz St. Agur (or other blue cheese)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Slice dates on top and remove the pit. This creates an opening for the cheese.
- Stuff dates with cheese. (Do not overstuff.)
- Cut bacon slice in half, wrap around the date and secure with a toothpick
- Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray if you are using tin foil to line it or the bacon will stick to the baking sheet.
- Arrange dates evenly on baking sheet with toothpicks standing up. Bake 10 minutes.
- Open oven and lay dates on their side. Bake 8-10 minutes.
- Turn dates to the other side. Bake 8-10 minutes.
- If you see the bacon start to brown more than you’d like, cut your cooking time. I like these nice and crispy, so I use a higher heat and bake them a little longer.
- Remove from oven. Very lightly drizzle honey on dates. Just a touch, you don’t want them to be too sweet.
- Wait for them to cool slightly before serving.