As promised, I am going to be showing another recipe that you can use for your holiday get togethers. This particular recipe is a really simple yet extraordinarily satisfying appetizer. That's right, I'm talking about dates stuffed with blue cheese - specifically Stilton from Colston Bassett dairy. The ingredients you need are simple..
To make 24 tasty bites you will need:
1/4lb of Stilton or any other blue cheese you like
The recipe itself is not too difficult and won't break the bank. Another great thing about this recipe is that it is fairly rich, so you don't need to worry about making a large amount. Just a few "bites" will satisy any guest.
Now for the step by step instructions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Then, take the cheese and cut off the rind. Crumble up the cheese as shown above (sorry for the mysterious shadow in the picture, not sure how that got there...). Don't worry about having different size crumbles, they will all work just fine.
Then, take the dates and cut them in half. I like to cut them in half in between the two ends, but if you prefer to slice them longways, that's up to you.
Most dates that you buy at the grocery store are going to have seeds (they look kind of like pecans and are pictured above), so be sure you take those out before proceeding to the next step.
Take the blue cheese and stuff it in the middle of the half piece of the date. Dates are pretty gooey and sticky, so don't be afraid to get your hands dirty during this process.
Once you've stuffed as many pieces of dates as you would like (with this recipe, you'll end up having 24 pieces), put some parchment paper down onto a baking sheet, place the dates on the paper evenly spaced and pop these bad boys in the oven. I let them cook for about 10 minutes. A couple minutes longer won't hurt, but make sure you keep an eye on them if you decide to do so.
Once you pull these out of the oven let them sit for a minute or so to avoid burning any of your guests' tongues with the molten blue cheese. After sitting for a spell, they are ready to be served to your eagerly awaiting guests.
You can substitute other blue cheeses depending on your taste and the taste of your guests. I like Stilton because it has a nice earthy flavor, isn't too strong or salty and melts very nicely. The tang of the blue really contrasts nicely with the sweet, chewy date. You won't be disappointed.If you want an extra treat, try wrapping them in prosciutto or bacon... amazing!
I almost forgot to mention that my amazing coworker Paty will be holding a class on how to make recipes like this one on December 5th from 6-7pm. Call the store to RSVP at 408-266-3700 if you want to attend.
I'm planning on posting a few more fun cheesy recipes during this next month, so keep an eye out for them. I hope you enjoy this recipe! Until next time, eat, drink and be happy!