This is a dish I learned from Emeril Lagasse… I have heard so much about dates wrapped in bacon on the internet that I wanted to give it as try using veggie bacon.
I brought this appetizer to one of our Les Francophones party. And as always, these vegetarian experiments are usually a better hit with the non-vegetarians than with the true veggie people. The husband of a friend was all over these, so much, I had to sneak a few out of the plate for Annie Mariel , my fellow “almost vegetarian” of the group, to get a chance to try them.
There are a few steps in making these, but I believe they’re worth it. The amount of stuffed dates are contingent upon how many slices of veggie bacon you have… so I will give you the method here, not so much quantities.
Pitted dates About 1/3 of an 8oz pack of cream cheese Almonds, with skin removed and toasted 1 package of veggie bacon strips, cut in half Toothpicks Canola oil spray
I first soaked the almonds in water to remove the skin… afterwards, I toasted them lightly in a 350F toaster oven for about 15 minutes, until the almonds start to smell a bit and turn a slight darker beige color. You can do this in advance if you want…
- Leave the oven at 350F or pre-heat it to that temperature if you made the almonds in advance, which I recommend so you can handle them better.
- Create an assembly line… Take a date and make sure it does not have the seed inside… this might be a not so nice surprise for your guest’s teeth. Take an almond and pick a bit if cream cheese with the tip. Insert the almond into the date using the pointy end of the almond as a guide. After the almond and cream cheese is inside the date, wrap the date with a ½ strip of veggie bacon and secure with a tooth pick.
- Be careful using the tooth picks because they can tear the veggie bacon… remember this is a soy-based product and does not have the same fat content of the original… now, place the stuffed and wrapped dates in a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and spray with canola oil spray. This will prevent the veggie bacon to get too dry in the oven.
- Bake in oven for about 10-15 minutes… when you like the color of the veggie bacon, take them out.
Let them cool off a bit and take off the toothpick before serving…