We had a wine party last night. There was a blizzard outside. A big one. We were amazed that our friends made the trek to celebrate with us. For those that braved the elements and came over, we had a fantastic time. Everyone brought an appetizer or small dish to share. I made Chorizo-Filled Dates Wrapped with Bacon and Holiday Guacamole.
We originally had the dates at a wine party a few years ago, and I've been waiting for the opportunity to make them. The original recipe is from Food and Wine, and calls for sauteing the dates on the stove. In an effort to spend time with our guests, I figured baking them would make more sense. I prepped them earlier in the day, then put them in the oven right before the party. The dates were sweet and savory at the same time. And rich. If you wanted to have a lighter variety, you could use turkey bacon.
Chorizo-Filled Dates Wrapped in Bacon
Adapted from Food and Wine, 2008
1 link chorizo sausage, casing removed
24 Medjool dates, pitted
12 slices of bacon, halved crosswise
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice the chorizo crosswise in thirds. Halve each third lengthwise, then cut each half into 4 lengthwise strips to have 24 small sticks. Stuff each date with chorizo stick and wrap bacon around date, securing with a toothpick. Place on baking sheet and bake for 12-18 minutes, until bacon is browned. Drain on paper towels before serving.
I made Holiday Guacamole from All About Food last year for Christmas and remembered it was a hit with our family. It's my favorite guacamole recipe. I cut back on the Serrano chilies, and eliminated all the seeds. . . it's still spicy enough for most Minnesotans. If you haven't ever removed pomegranate seeds before, cut the pomegranate into fourths and soak in a bowl of water for a few minutes. The seeds are much easier to remove from the flesh. . .and there's less of a chance of making a mess.
1/3 cup chopped white onion
1/3 cup chopped red onion
3 Serrano chilies, seeds removed, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. Kosher salt
4 ripe avocados, mashed
2 Tbsp. freshly-squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds, divided
freshly ground black pepper
Mix onions, chilies, garlic, and salt in a bowl. Add the mashed avocados and lime juice; stir gently. Fold in 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds. Season with ground pepper. Store bowl in refrigerator, pressed with plastic wrap until ready to serve. Sprinkle with remaining pomegranate seeds and serve with chips.
Holiday parties. Love them. Friends, food, drink, fun:)