Tuesday, December 21, 2010
These are fantastic. We had them in Key West last spring and I've been thinking they'd make a great holiday party appetizer ever since. They're simple as can be--dates stuffed with a bit of roasted garlic, then wrapped in salty/sweet brown sugar-rubbed speck. It's a good idea to roast your garlic ahead of time so you're not faced with the task right before assembling these little guys. I just roasted two heads, wrapped in tinfoil with a little bit of olive oil at 400 for an hour and 15 minutes. They should be very soft when done and easy to pop out of their peels. Then I stuck them in the fridge until I was ready to make them for a party.You'll need some salty pig as well. You could use bacon or prosciutto, but I used speck and was very pleased with the results. I guess proscuitto would be second-best if you don't have any speck in your markets.And some dates!When I was a kid my mom used to make me stuff dates with almonds for appetizers at parties. The process was pretty much exactly like this is going to be for you: slice each date open, stuff with goodness. Repeat. Pop out a soft roasted garlic clove...And tuck it in the date that you've sliced open.Now for the true decadence, where I part ways from my more abstemious mother. Pour some brown sugar into a little dish...And get a thin strip of your speck (or prosciutto or bacon). Rub it well with the brown sugar...Then wrap around your garlic-stuffed date. Adorable! Secure the cute lil bundle with a toothpick and arrange on a rack over a baking sheet. Pop them in a preheated oven at 425 for maybe about 15 minutes. Take a peek at them after about 10 minutes though--you don't want these little darlings to burn up.I served them with some manchego cheese on the side. They're heavenly little devils and should for sure be invited to your New Year's Eve party. Enjoy!