Chorizo & Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates.
Behold the appetizer to end all appetizers!
These little nuggets of goodness have it all going on — the sweet, the spicy, the creamy…
Easy to make and even easier to stand in the kitchen and eat an entire tray.
This is another recipe from my wonderful friend Jen Gerth, clarinetist and cook extraordinaire.
I’m not sure the last time I posted a simpler or better recipe.
Here’s what you need: three ingredients!
Dates, Chorizo, and Goat Cheese.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
No big surprises here except that you have a couple of chorizo options: cooked and uncooked. Both work well in this recipe.
Pre-cooked chorizo is firmer and more of the consistency of a summer sausage. If you can find it, it will save you a few steps in preparation. Simply cut the chorizo into little wedges and you’re good to go.
If you have uncooked, crumbly chorizo like me, you have one or two easy steps to get it ready for the dates.
This chorizo comes in a plastic casing like little sausages that must be removed before cooking.
My chorizo came in a 1 pound package but I only needed 2 little links (1/3 of a pound) to fill about 20 dates. You can freeze the rest, or my sister recommends you make some scrambled eggs with chorizo for breakfast.
Once you’ve removed the casing, crumble the chorizo into a small skillet and cook it for about 5-8 minutes over medium meat. (Sorry there is no photo.)
The chorizo gives off quite a bit of grease that we don’t want weighing down the dates, so drain the cooked chorizo on a couple of paper towels.
Let’s talk dates! I have nice, plump Medjool dates. Each date has a little seed or pit in the middle that needs to come out.
Use a small paring knife to make a slit down the length of the date but don’t cut all the way through.
You will hit the pit pretty quickly and can just pluck it right out of the date with your fingers leaving a little cavity for our delicious chorizo filling.
Once you’ve removed the pit from your dates (I prepared 20), fill each one with about 1/2 teaspoon of the cooked, crumbled chorizo.
Obviously you can make more or fewer stuffed dates depending on how many people you are serving.
Top each chorizo filled date with a nice dollop of creamy goat cheese, about 1 teaspoon.
Place the stuffed dates on a foil lined baking sheet and continue stuffing…
We originally planned on 2-3 dates per person but these little babies are addictive so you might want to make a few extras.
Once all the dates are stuffed, bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes until heated through and the cheese is golden brown on top. I ran these under the broiler for just 1 minute extra for a little more color.
Chorizo & Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates are a perfect appetizer because you can serve them without the need for silverware. You could add some other types of cheese, crackers, some spiced nuts, or maybe a little smoked salmon and have a lovely appetizer platter ready in minutes.
Of course, to really get in the holiday spirit, I recommend adding some nice cold champagne as well.
I made a big fancy dinner for my family last night and I’m pretty sure the chorizo stuffed dates were the star of the show!
Here’s the recipe: from Jennifer Gerth