Bacon-Wrapped Dates Recipe With Pictures

Thanksgiving (el Sanguibin) with my big, fat Cuban family is always a wonderful and fun celebration.

As Cuban refugees who are now proud American citizens, we are mindful of just how much we have to be thankful for. In my family, while we’re waiting for the birds to fry, (oh yes, we do!) we have appetizers and play games. It’s noisy. Sooo noisy! In that talking-yelling-over-each-other way that only Cubans can do and still follow all the conversations within a two mile radius. God, I love that.

So we start with the appetizers, and because we’re frying the turkeys, everyone has to come out (all 40 of them) and see just exactly how it’s done. Of course, everyone has an opinion (a really loud opinion) on the very best way to fry turkeys even if they’ve never done it before. God, I love that.

But back to the appetizers . . .

What’s the point of appetizers?

I know I’m sounding all Andy Rooney, but hear me out.

Are appetizers designed to make you have more of an appetite for the main dish?

To get your taste buds warmed up and ready for the rest of the meal?

Fine. Delude yourself into believing that there is a logical reason for appetizers, but I’m going to tell you a secret:

Appetizers exist just so that you can eat more and sooner.

There. Don’t you feel better now that you’re out of denial?

Anyway, I know everyone has their traditional favorite holiday foods, and I do too. So today I’m offering you my very favorite your-mouth-will-just-say-wow! appetizers. My family has been making these for as long as I can remember for every special occasion. In fact, I served these the other night, and my guests were amazed and delighted and even mentioned they had first tasted these in a real chichi restaurant in L.A. (Shut. Up. Who knew?)

I guarantee that when you serve these, your guests will be delighted and confused. And if they are Cuban, they will start guessing and arguing about what they are.

God, I love that. 

Bacon-Wrapped Date Appetizers Recipe

  • 1 lb. Fresh pitted dates (you can use regular dates and pit them yourself, but I’m just lazy.)
  • 1 lb. Bacon (not thick - thinner works better)

1) Pre-heat oven to 350°

2) Cut the bacon slices into fourths.

3) Wrap each date with bacon.

4) Bake at 350° for about 20-25 minutes or until bacon just starts getting crispy. (be careful not to overcook)

Nochebuena variation:

1) Slice the dates down one side.

2) Stuff with some Turron de Llema before wrapping in bacon. (Yeah, baby!)

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