One of my favorite restaurants in the entire world is conveniently located in Charlottesville, Virginia. Mas Tapas has awesome sangria, fun margaritas, and some of the best food I've ever eaten; and because it's a Spanish place, it's mostly Paleo without even trying.
It's been some time since I called Charlottesville "home," which has given me the opportunity to attempt to re-create some of my favorite dishes from Mas' menu. I'm almost there with a goat cheese and artichoke dip, but it still needs work. The bacon-wrapped dates, however, I hit out of the park on my first attempt (if I do say so myself).
This is one of the easier and still most delicious things you could probably ever make. You don't have to do anything to either of the ingredients, because both ingredients are inherently perfect. I do like to stuff them with goat cheese before wrapping them in bacon, though, because I'm wild like that.
- As many dates as you want. (I would make 3-4 per person, though.)
- As much bacon as you want. (Each date gets half a slice.)
- Several tablespoons of softened goat cheese.
- Split open each date with a small paring knife and stuff with goat cheese--I like to take a little spoon, get some cheese, and roll it into an oblong ball before just popping it right in.
- Wrap each stuffed date in about half a piece of bacon. Place on a baking sheet.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until bacon is cooked through and the whole bite is caramelized. They're going to be really super hot, so give them a second to cool if you can. If not--I understand--just enjoy with caution! They're best when still quite warm.
This post was originally published in June of 2012, but I've since updated the recipe and wanted to include a new photo. Old comments are kind of wonky since I switched from Blogger to Squarespace, but I now reply to everything right there in the thread.