By Chef John Ash
A simple little tidbit that can be made ahead and cooked just before serving. Complemented by both Sonoma-Cutrer Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines.
Total Time 1 hour
Prep Time 30 minutes
Difficulty Level Medium
24 large moist dates, such as medjool
12 slices of bacon, cut in half
4 oz softened fresh goat cheese
24 whole toasted almonds
Move oven rack to upper third of oven and preheat oven to 475 °.
Pit dates carefully to hold as much of their shape as you can. Halve the 12 slices of bacon crosswise. If available, put the goat cheese into a pastry bag fitted with a round, plain 1⁄4" tip.
Stuff cavity of each date with 1 almond. Pipe goat cheese into each stuffed date or alternately use a small demitasse spoon. Wrap 1 piece of bacon around width of each date.
Put dates on a baking sheet, seam side down, at least 1⁄2" apart. Bake until bacon is golden and crisp, about 8 minutes. Set aside to cool briefly before serving. Makes 24.