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FaustianBargain

Recipes with Dates

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I've had appetizers of halved date with mexican chorizo wrapped in bacon and broiled.

 

I could easily eat a half sheet pan of them.

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I've fallen in love with dates in the past few years, thanks in part to visits to your part of the country.

First off: assuming those dates have been dried, or at least mostly dried, they'll keep. You don't have to can or refrigerate them. I have some (I blush to admit) that are more than a year old. I've kept them in plastic bags, tied and stored in an airtight container, until time to use them. Some have gotten a little soggier, perhaps - and therefore more suited to becoming a paste than before - but none has rotted. I think they have too much sugar and too little moisture to rot, once they've been dried. That has been part of their charm in the more arid and hot parts of this world.

Second: what other varieties did you get? I may be able to help with some information. I came away with some information as to varieties and classifications from recent visits to a large date oasis near you. I've figured out over the last few years that I'm especially fond of the deglet noor, khadwary, khaisab and barhi varieties. In past years I've thought that the medjools were overrated; however, this year I decided they were pretty neat for, say, stuffing with almonds or walnuts. They're so big and firm, that they just ask to be sliced in half, seeded, and stuffed with something!

Third: There are many date-based dessert or bread recipes, and I have some. I have at least one recipe for the date equivalent of what we know as "fig newtons". If I can get the author's permission I'll post it here with attribution to her book; otherwise, I'll post some general information and pointers.

Fourth: It's a standard around our household to put chopped dates into our fruit salads.

This is a great topic!

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I've had appetizers of halved date with mexican chorizo wrapped in bacon and broiled.

 

I could easily eat a half sheet pan of them.

Please tell me more about the chorizo/date combination. Do you mean the pitted date was stuffed with chorizo and wrapped with bacon, or were the chorizo and date chopped together, formed into a ball, and wrapped with bacon?

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Please tell me more about the chorizo/date combination. Do you mean the pitted date was stuffed with chorizo and wrapped with bacon, or were the chorizo and date chopped together, formed into a ball, and wrapped with bacon?

The former.  Halved (and pitted) date topped with as much chorizo as it can hold and then wrapped with bacon and broiled.

 

I've not tried to make it so I cant tell you if the chorizo is par-cooked (wouldn't surprise me).

 

Sweet/salty/spicy/smoky-bacon-y. 

 

I want some now.

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I would think of making date sugar and syrup, date chutney?

Then you can find many tagines dishes, salads, stuffed, with rice or other grains.


Edited by Franci (log)
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The former. Halved (and pitted) date topped with as much chorizo as it can hold and then wrapped with bacon and broiled.

I've not tried to make it so I cant tell you if the chorizo is par-cooked (wouldn't surprise me).

Sweet/salty/spicy/smoky-bacon-y.

I want some now.

At present I'm stuffed from dinner (way too many barbecued ribs), and I still want some of those. RIGHT NOW!

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I would think of making date sugar and syrup, date chutney?

Then you can find many tagines dishes, salads, stuffed, with rice or other grains.

Franci, how would you go about making those? Especially the date chutney

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Oh...and this may be obvious to you, given where you live, but don't forget about date shakes. :-)

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I just googled "date chorizo bacon" and got a raft of recipes for a concoction with Spanish chorizo. I'm sure its fine, but Mexican is the way to go with this.

 

I've go the bacon and the chorizo.

 

Wish I had some dates in the house....

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Make some hot coffee.

 

Get a pile of dates.  Get a pile of nuts -- salted pistachios are my favorite, but tastes differ, inexplicably.

 

Have a few small slices of feta, goat or similar mild, young-ish cheese.

 

Have a few small slices of fruit.

 

Sip some coffee, eat a date, eat a nut.  Have another sip of coffee.  Decide whether you're ready for a taste of cheese or fruit. 

 

Repeat this routine until everything is gone or you're full, whichever comes sooner.

 

My favorite breakfast. 

 

And, yes, dates will keep a very long time if they're covered and not exposed to extremes of humidity. 

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Sticky toffee pudding.  It's loaded with chopped dates.

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The former.  Halved (and pitted) date topped with as much chorizo as it can hold and then wrapped with bacon and broiled.

 

I've not tried to make it so I cant tell you if the chorizo is par-cooked (wouldn't surprise me).

 

Sweet/salty/spicy/smoky-bacon-y. 

 

I want some now.

My local Spanish restaurant makes a version of this - dates are pitted, stuffed with a bit of chorizo, wrapped in bacon and then deep fried. They are GOOD.

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I make fruit and nut bars adapted from the Alice Medrich recipe, using mainly dates, but also a mix of apricots and cherries. I add just a little cocoa powder to the mix, but basically it is a pretty healthy grab-and-go kind of snack--great for air travel or long drives. And best of all, you can slice it up and freeze it in packets and it doesn't seem to suffer at all for being frozen.

 

Am I late to the party? Every restaurant in Portland offers bacon-wrapped dates, some more celestial than others. Pitted dates get stuffed with an almond (marcona in some cases) and a dab of either goat cheese or blue cheese. Then each date gets wrapped in one slice of bacon and either grilled or roasted or broiled in some fashion. Fabulous for a party, very dangerous if you are alone.

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add chopped dates to just about any roasted veg--my favorite combo being bnut squash, red onion and fennel tossed with olive oil, s&p, roasted in hot oven just until tender. chopped dates added in last 5 minutes or so of roasting, just to warm and soften. the chewy sweetness is fab. add some shaved parm, or crumbled blue. so, so good. 


Edited by chezcherie (log)
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Speaking of dates and bacon, I like to stick a chunk of good parmesan into a date, then wrap with bacon, then bake at 450 until bacon is done.

 

Wonderful.

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Wow. I want to try every single one of these suggestions. Im particularly interested in chutney as i can put jars in my gift baskets

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I've just reviewed this whole thread and a number of linked recipes because I was gifted with almost 2 lb of dry khalas dates in a vacuum-packed brick.  I have never been a fan of dates in general; I don't find them particularly unpleasant, just sweet and not very interesting.  The only information on the label is pack date, "Variety: Klass" and "Product of K.S.A" but when I looked closely I realized that there are spices in the package--various-shaped seeds.  I don't know how common that is; I didn't find any advertised that way when I perused some vendor sites.  

 

I think I am primarily interested in savory recipes, anyway.  (Though a spiced sticky toffee pudding is a fascinating idea!)  I am reluctant to cut the package open until I feel ready to cook with them so I'll wait to find out how prominent the spices are.  In the meantime, any more savory suggestions?  

Thanks,  Fern

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Mexican chorizo stuffed dates wrapped with bacon.

 

Spicy date paste as an accompaniment to cheese/charcuterie......or applied to the top of a short rib after braising

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Here's a nice Food52 article about Renee Erickson's Sauteed Dates, with several ideas for serving them (with yogurt, drizzled with olive oil, and so on). They point out that sauteing the dates helps bring out the more savory notes. Along the same lines - possibly inspired by that blog post - I stuffed some with walnuts, then caramelized them. Can't remember whether I broiled or sauteed them to get the browning, but they disappeared quickly at our party. The slightly bitter caramel notes really showed them off and played nicely with the walnuts. I have also added finely chopped dates to the onion/garlic/aromatics for meat sauces, but can't honestly say that it became a regular addition.

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I like to put a few cut-up dates in my apple salad--sort of like Waldorf Salad, but with no celery. If dates weren't so hard on diabetics, I'd make Date Salad with a few pieces of apple.  I also add halved grapes, walnuts, and sometimes fresh pineapple.  The dressing is just a tablespoon or two each of mayo, cream and lemon juice and a bit of sugar or sweetener.  

 

I have my grandmother's recipe for Date Cookies, which my mother used to send to me when I was a college student. My daughter and sister and I love them, but many people don't like the idea of eating dates.  The already cut-up dates have mostly sugar so the date flavor and texture are lost IMO.

 

Last year I  tried Medjool dates for the first time and fell in love.  Do they have a season?

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Bacon wrapped dates with wildflower honey was probably the best bite of food I have ever tasted. I keep forgetting to try recreating it, but based on the comment above frying seems the way to go. Now I just have to try this chorizo variant.

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Cook the chorizo first ...stuff the date ...and wrap with THIN CUT (or pounded) bacon.  Broil till bacon is cooked.  Really tasty.

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Dates are very good halved and stuffed with tehina. A drizzle of honey is nice, too.

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