I am neither the first nor the last to laud the greatness and versatility of bacon.
As mentioned in my last post, I was a quasi-vegetarian for most of my life. Even before burgers, I was introduced to what has been coined the “gateway meat:” bacon. Like a teenager experimenting with weed in his basement, I gingerly nibbled my way down a piece of bacon, my expression shifting from hesitant curiosity to full-fledged satisfaction. After my first hit, I wasn’t physiologically addicted, but something about the whole experience just felt SO RIGHT. The taste, the smell, the perfect combination of crispy and juicy– I was hooked.
I started using bacon more and more: a complement to eggs, on top of burgers, wrapped around grilled shrimp, and crumbled on top of a wedge salad.
Really, I found love. And I could finally fully appreciate comedian Jim Gaffigan’s homage to bacon.
Perhaps this is a recent trend, or perhaps I’m only cognizant of it now that I’m a bacon person, but it seems that bacon (or artificial bacon flavoring) has been infused into everything. There are bacon novelty items abound, and I can’t help but squeal with delight every time I see the newest thing. See below:
…and these are just the highlights. I plan on featuring many more bacon recipes in the future, but for now, I’ll leave you with this to chew on.
Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Gorgonzola, Drizzled in an Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- 6 strips uncooked applewood smoked bacon
- 1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
- 12 medjool dates, pitted
- 12 almonds
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- Black pepper to taste
- 12 toothpicks
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
- Slice dates lengthwise so that the inner pocket with the pit is exposed
- Remove pit, and replace with almond
- Fill the rest of the pocket with cheese, and press date back together (kind of like a hotdog bun)
- Cut bacon slices in half
- Place date on top of bacon at one end and roll completely, repeat with remaining 11 stuffed dates
- Secure them each with a toothpick
- Place on a metal baking sheet and put in oven
- Bake for about 20 minutes, until bacon reaches desired juiciness/crispiness
- Combine olive oil and cider vinegar and drizzle over bacon wrapped dates
- Sprinkle black pepper on to taste