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202 - Bacon-Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Parmesan
Bacon-Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Parmesan
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Now test to see how large your bacon stips will have to be in order to wrap around the dates. You want the bacon to wrap around the date once, with a little bit of overlap. If you're using Deglet-Noor dates, you will probably be able to use 1/3 of a bacon strip for each date. If you're using the larger Medjool type of dates, it may be more like 1/2 of a bacon strip for each date. Medjool dates are softer and fleshier, but the smaller Deglet-Noor dates might work better for this bite-sized appetizer.
Once you know the size your bacon strips need to be, cut them to size. Then cut small strips of Parmesan from the chunk. Take a look at the size of the holes in your pitted dates to estimate the size of the Parmesan pieces.
To assemble, place a piece of Parmesan inside each date, wrap with a bacon strip and secure by pushing a toothpick through your assembled date. Place the assembled dates on a baking sheet (about an inch apart) and bake for 5 minutes. Turn the dates over, then bake for another 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven and plate, allowing the dates to cool for a few minutes before serving. If there's excess bacon fat dripping from the dates, just pat them with a paper towel to clean them up.
You can also change out the Parmesan cheese and instead stuff the dates with almonds or chestnuts. If you use chestnuts, it's easiest to use the canned variety as they're already shelled and soft.