The class that Kramer and I took at The Brooklyn Kitchen on Wednesday was so much fun; I can’t wait to sign up for another class, soon. The instructor made everything understandable and easy – I’m going to be breaking down birds like Hung in season three of Top Chef in no time at all, just you watch. We also renewed the lease on our apartment on Wednesday, which was a huge relief. I absolutely adore our place and I never want to move. The area has really started to pick up and become pretty trendy/hip (as the kids say) in the past year that we’ve been there, and I always worry about being priced out of the apartment. Thankfully, our landlord is awesome and let us renew for another two years. After our class, Kramer and I decided to celebrate our successes by having a beer at a bar that opened up literally around the corner from our apartment called The Tradesman. It’s brand new, but I hear that they are working on fixing up the backyard and plan to have food, too, so I couldn’t be happier. It’s nice to finally have a neighborhood spot. There is a place called duckduck down the street from us, but The Tradesman is definitely a bit more my speed.
As you may recall, I posted these Vanilla Spice Poached Pears last week. They make a great dessert all on their own, but they are even better when paired with something savory. The inspiration for these comes from The Spotted Pig, which an absolutely fabulous little restaurant run by the incredibly talented April Bloomfield (who, as it turns out, has a cookbook coming out next month that I have already pre-ordered, of course, called A Girl and Her Pig). We had these Devils on Horseback as an appetizer when we last went to The Spotted Pig and immediately fell in love. The sweet Medjool dates work ever so well with the spiced poached pears and the smokey, crispy bacon. I made these for a party I had a little while ago, and they were all gone by the end of the night. I especially loved these because while most people seem to want to stuff dates or figs with cheese, I thought the poached pears were a lovely change of pace and made more sense when eaten alongside the bacon. You might want to make a lot of these, because your friends and family will definitely be demanding more after they try one.
Take the pits out of the dates with a small paring knife.
Cut your poached pears into small cubes that fit inside of the dates – you can stuff ’em in there, don’t worry.
I stuffed the dates on one day and baked them on another – efficiency!
Cut your slices of bacon in half horizontally, then wrap each date in a half-slice of bacon. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, until the bacon is crispy. You can pull them out, brush with the poached pear liquid, and then broil briefly to caramelize the sugar, but it’s not necessary.
Serve warm and watch them disappear.
- 24 Medjool dates, pits removed
- 1 poached or roasted pear (recipe here), cubed (plus the poaching liquid for glazing)
- 12 slices of bacon, cut in half horizontally
- toothpicks, for serving
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the pits from your dates and set them aside. Cut your pears into cubes small enough to fit inside the dates, and stuff them into each one. Cut each slice of bacon in half horizontally (so that you will have 24 slices of bacon) and wrap each pear-stuffed date in the bacon. Place the dates on a cooling sheet that has been placed inside of a baking sheet (so that the dates become crispy instead of sitting in bacon grease) and bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, until the bacon has become crisp.
- If you like, right before you serve the dates, brush them in a bit of the poaching liquid from the pears and broil for 30 seconds or so, just to caramelize the sugar. Stick toothpicks in the dates and serve warm.