This appetizer right here is always a HUGE hit and people can’t get enough of my Manchego cheese stuffed bacon wrapped dates. They are super easy to make and taste great even without the sauce. But if you want to impress people at the next dinner party or large gathering then I recommend adding the sauce for a nice flare. It completely upgrades this dish and makes you look like a master chef when in reality it’s so simple and very easy to put together. My friends and family can never get enough of these goodies!
3 packages of dates
12 oz Manchego cheese
3 pounds Applewood smoked bacon, cut in halves
Blueberry Port Reduction (Optional)
1 cup fresh blueberries
2/3 cup Port Wine
½ cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons cold butter
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE MANCHEGO STUFFED BACON WRAPPED DATES
+ Special equipment: 50 toothpicks.
+ Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
+ Slice each date open and de-seed the date.
+ Stuff each date with small slice of Manchego cheese. Wrap each date with half a piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
+ Bake the dates for about 15 to 18 minutes until bacon is completely cooked but not burnt.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE BLUEBERRY PORT SAUCE
+ Place a skillet over medium heat.
+ Stir in blueberries and cook for about 2 minutes until soft.
+ Pour port wine into the pan while scraping up the bits of food in the pan.
+ Stir in chicken stock and increase heat to medium high. Cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Strain the sauce into small sauce pan.
+ Reduce heat to low, whisk in the butter and then set aside.