Another winning party snack recipe that we served at Friday's cocktail party comes from another superfoodie friend and cook extraordinaire, Anita. She served these bacon-date-manchego goodies at one of her parties, and I was instantly in love. These are guaranteed to please everyone (except vegetarians and the lactose-intolerant). And look -- I remembered to take a picture! (Well, at least the "before" shot, but you get the idea.) I just wish we had a more concise name for them besides bacon-date-manchego-yummy-things, so suggestions gladly solicited. Recipe after the jump.
Update: As La Anita herself commented, these are called Devils on Horseback. Love that!
Devils on Horseback
Approx. 1/4 lb. manchego cheese
36 pitted dates
12 slices thick-cut bacon
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a broiler pan with foil above and below, and slice drainage holes in the top foil. Cut the manchego cheese into 1/4-inch matchsticks. Gently slide the cheese into the holes of the dates. You'll be surprised how much cheese you can cram into a date. If you are having difficulty getting the cheese into the holes, don't be afraid to tear the opening up a little more; you could just as easily open the date all along the length and wrap it around the cheese. After it's cooked, you won't know the difference.
Cut the bacon into thirds crosswise, and wrap each piece around each date and set, cut side down, on the foil-lined broiler pan. You can do this several hours ahead and keep, covered with foil or cling wrap in the fridge. Bake approx. 20 minutes, until bacon fat has rendered off and bacon becomes crisp on the edges and cheese has melted. Remove and set to cool. Deter salivating friends from diving in too soon or it will end in tears -- the sugary dates are positively lava-like until they've cooled for at least 5 minutes.