Bonus post for the week! These prosciutto-wrapped stuffed dates are the perfect combination of salty, sweet, and spicy and would be a sure crowd-pleaser at your Memorial Day celebrations next weekend.
One of the unexpected perks of starting a food blog has been the community aspect, particularly Recipe Redux. Started by three nutrition-focused food bloggers (Serena and Deanna of Teaspoon of Spice and Regan Jones of Regan Miller Jones Inc), Recipe Redux is a healthy recipe blog challenge in which members are given a theme each month to base a healthy recipe around. In addition to the monthly challenges, members help spread the word about each other’s latest posts. I have only been a part of the group for a month now, but already I have received so much support from the other members. Definitely check out these awesome food bloggers over at the Recipe Redux website!
So onto the tasty stuff! This month’s theme (and my first challenge!) is “Small Plates for Sunny Days. Show us your take on small plates and finger foods.” When trying to brainstorm ideas, I found myself thinking through some of my favorite restaurant appetizers – most of which are FAR from healthy. One dish that I just couldn’t get out of my head was the Devils On Horseback at Linger in Denver, CO. The original recipe features Applewood Smoked Bacon, Medjool Dates, Herbed Goat Cheese & Sambal Gastrique. I’m not usually a bacon fan, but this appetizer is one of my all time favorites due to the flavor and texture combinations. Plus, I’m always a fan of foods that you can have “just a bite” of 😉
My goal was to not only make this dish healthier, but also give it a more summery spin meaning no cooking required. However, while you don’t need time to bake these, they can still take a bit of time to put together so I recommend enlisting a friend/family member/significant other, putting on some summery music, and get to work! So let’s get the flavors and textures going! Start with the foundation of our recipe: the medjuool dates, which provide a sweet flavor and chewy texture. These get stuffed with a mixture of neufchatel cheese, jalapeno (I removed the seeds, but it you want extra heat leave some in) and dash of paprika. This filling will give the dish heat as well as a nice creamy texture. Finally, wrap the stuffed dates with salty prosciutto and secure with a toothpick.
So here’s a toast to big flavors in a small bite!
- 1/2 block neufctchel cheese
- 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and diced
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 24 dates
- 2-oz prosciutto, cut or torn into small strips (should be just large enough to wrap around a stuffed date)
- 24 toothpicks
- In food processor, pulse together cream cheese, jalapeno, and paprika until smooth and cream (it's okay to have a few small chunks of jalapeno)
- Make small vertical slit in each date. Using a spoon or a ziplock bag with the corner cut out, fill each date with the cream cheese mixture.
- Wrap stuffed date with a strip of prosciutto. Secure with a toothpick.
- Serve immediately or store in fridge up to overnight until ready to serve.
- Makes 24 bites (about 80 calories per bite depending on how full you stuff them)