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Bacon Wrapped Dates stuffed with goat cheese and smothered in a simple red wine reduction. A tasty and ELEGANT appetizer!
Sometimes, you have a dish at a restaurant that you never forget. The Bacon Wrapped Dates at Avenues Bistro in Kansas City is one of those dishes for me. It’s on their appetizer menu, and man, they are perfect. They’re chewy, salty, sweet, and smothered with the most incredible red wine reduction. Luckily, I used to live within walking distance of Avenues, and would mosey over there every week for a glass of wine and those incredible Bacon Wrapped Dates.
A few years ago, we moved to a new neighborhood, which puts me over 30 minutes away from Avenues. So, I was forced to sort out the recipe on my own, and I think I’ve gotten dang close to recreating their fantastic Bacon Wrapped Dates! But, I made one major modification, which was that I now stuff my Bacon Wrapped Dates with Goat Cheese. Alternatively, you can stuff the dates with cooked chorizo or whole almonds for a change of pace!
For the bacon in this recipe, I chose Burgers’ Applewood Smoked Bacon. Burgers is local to Kansas City, and can be found in most of our grocery stores, or ordered online! I was lucky enough to grow up eating Burgers’ bacon and ham, and it’s truly spoiled me for all others. You can learn more about how Burgers’ makes their bacon in this quick video.
It’s so important that you choose high quality bacon that hasn’t been injected with water and fillers. Why? Because you bake these Bacon Wrapped Dates for a long time, and the bacon will shrink down. If you use cheap bacon, it will shrivel and only cover a tiny fraction of the date! Ideally, you want bacon in every single bite. Burgers’ bacon is dry cured, slow smoked, good quality bacon, which makes it the perfect choice!
I recommend serving these Bacon Wrapped Dates as an appetizer for the holidays. This recipe will make enough for about 8 people, each eating 2-3 dates.
- 1 lb Burgers Applewood Smoked Bacon
- • 1 lb dates (pitted, or remove pit before cooking)
- • 2 ounces goat cheese
For the sauce:
- • 1 cup red wine
- • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- • 1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
- • 1 teaspoons course sea salt
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line a large baking tray with aluminum foil, and then place a cookie cooling rack within the tray. This will keep the bacon from getting soggy in the grease that cooks off the bacon.
- Stuff each date with a dab of goat cheese, and then wrap with about a half a slice of bacon. Secure with a toothpick.
- Place each wrapped date on the cooking rack nestled within the tray. Bake for at least 30 minutes, checking frequently. When the bacon is mostly crispy, but not burned, remove from the oven.
- For the sauce, combine wine, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Stir well to combine. Heat on medium high until the liquid boils, then allow to simmer until the sauce is reduces to a thick syrup. At this point, add the rosemary and salt, then remove from heat.
- Plate the wrapped dates and drizzle red wine reduction over the top. Serve warm or at room temperature, both are delicious.