Smoky Bacon Wrapped Dates with Pineapple Garlic Sauce

The perfect bite. That’s really the only way to describe these delicious little morsels of goodness. For me, the perfect bite of food has to cover all of the bases- I want sweet, salty, sour and savory all in one bite. I want a variety of textures ranging from creamy to chewy to crunchy. It’s about a certain mouth feel that must be present in order to classify as the perfect bite. Ladies and gentleman, I’m here to tell you- Smoky Bacon Wrapped Dates with Pineapple Garlic Sauce are IT!

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I bring this recipe to you just in time for your upcoming holiday parties! And may I suggest that they do, in fact, make the perfect appetizer. It’s just one bite. But it’s one bite that is substantial, meaty and rich so you don’t need to eat ten of them (although you may have to fight back the urge to do so- because they are THAT good). Smoky Bacon Wrapped Dates are a classy enough appetizer to serve for an elegant cocktail party, yet they’re still very approachable. What do I mean by “approachable” in reference to food you ask? Well they’re served on a toothpick. What’s more approachable than that? You don’t have to worry about holding your martini glass (and not spilling your very full cosmopolitan) in one and and trying to spoon something off of a cocktail plate with another hand while balancing in your 4-inch stilettos (after having drank a few of said cosmopolitans)…right? Not that I’ve ever been in that situation…  ahem..

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As if the Smoky Bacon Wrapped Dates weren’t enough on their own (and they ARE delicious in their own right), I added another level of flavor! Since I’m a dipper from way back, I feel like any dish can be enhanced (even these) with the addition of a sauce. To me, pineapple was the obvious choice. Pork and pineapple is a classic pairing, and the tanginess of the pineapple cuts the richness of the bacon and goat cheese just right. The garlic in the pineapple sauce subtly brings all of the flavors together, without being overpowering.

 

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Now that I have properly introduced you to these delicious Smoky Bacon Wrapped Dates, I hope the two of you will be very happy together. Here’s how to get better acquainted with them:

Smoky Bacon Wrapped Dates with Pineapple Garlic Sauce

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Prepare your dates. To do this, split them lengthwise using a paring knife and remove the pit.
  • Stuff each date with a bit of goat cheese. The amount will vary depending on the size of the date.
  • Cut each slice of bacon in half and sprinkle each slice with smoked paprika. Not too much, it's spicy!
  • Wrap a piece of bacon around each date and secure it with a toothpick.
  • Place on a baking sheet lined with a wire rack (you don't have to use the rack but I like it because the bacon fat drips off that way) and bake for 25-30 minutes until the bacon is browned and crispy.
  • While the dates are baking, prepare your sauce.
  • In a small saucepan on the stove top, heat the pineapple, garlic, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and a dash of sea salt.
  • Simmer on the stove top for 15-20 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  • Remove the pan from the heat, and puree until smooth either in a blender or using an [immersion blenderhttp://amzn.to/1bn9lt7].
  • Serve and enjoy!
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