Monday, April 11, 2005

Medjool dates with feta and chipotle?

What a weird combination! What was I thinking?

Well, there is a restaurant, AOC, in Los Angeles that makes appetizers of bacon-wrapped dates that everyone keeps talking about on the Chowhound message board.

Bacon - what is a vegetarian to do? Dates are so wonderful, with their sweet chewy stickiness. I wanted to make something similar to AOCs appetizer, but meatless.

Let's take apart the flavors (and do it with what is on hand in the kitchen LOL)...bacon is salty and smoky...How about that container of feta cheese for the salt and my favorite spice of late, Penzey's chipotle chile powder, for the smoky?

Cut open big fat medjool dates, remove the pit, and stuff the space with good salty Bulgarian sheep feta. Sprinkle on some chipotle pepper and taste.

Hm. Is what Chef Suzanne Goin had in mind? The feta is more tangy than bacon but plenty salty. The chipotle powder adds a spicy kick. Not smoky like bacon, but not bad, either.

I imagine that the dates at AOC are served hot, since uncooked bacon is so limp and unpleasant.

Pop them in the nuke-box for 10 seconds. Voila. Hot dates with melty cheese...

I have no idea if this is anything close to how the AOC dates taste.

But in the end, like the poem about Walrus and the Carpenter and their oyster friends "They had eaten every one."


PS Where did I find that groovy plate? It was made by the Stangl Pottery Co. of Trenton, New Jersey, which operated primarily between 1940 and 1970. This is the lovely "Yellow Tulip," designed by Kay Hackett, an artistic genius who created all my favorite Stangl patterns. Looking at Kay's Stangl patterns make me nostalgic for a time when really, really cool stuff was made right here in the USA.

4 comments:

holly said...

I wonder if almond (for the texture) stuffed green olives (for the salt) stuffed in dates would be a good combo to try to recreate the flavor bacon wrapped dates. Olives have that saltiness but none of feta's creaminess. Your creation does sound good - I love figs with goat cheese, so I'd probably like dates with goat cheese.

Suebob said...

Maybe olives and cheese...hm. I'm off on a whole new tack with that...

alan said...

I've been wondering what to do with these mejdool dates I bought on impulse earlier this week. Thanks for the ideas!

McAuliflower said...

Yum! I second Holly's almond suggestion. I like to use smoked almonds as a flavor and crunch alternative to bacon.

I do like your combo idea of adding heat to a medjool... Mmmm chipotle smoked almonds would be good...