I appreciate bacon just as much as the next meat lover, but I made a “no pork” sacrifice years ago when I discovered my intolerance to it. I was beyond ecstatic when I discovered “duck bacon” from the Hudson Valley Duck Farm stand in Union Square’s Farmer’s Market. After I exhausted myself of breakfast-related bacon creations, I brainstormed until I came up with this reinvented classic.
It is very common for me to experiment with as many flavors as possible, to both stimulate our senses and digestion. Traditionally, dates are stuffed with (blue) cheese before they are wrapped in bacon and cooked, however, I wanted to experiment with an unordinary element- heat. In addition to it’s spiciness, the pickled jalapeno offers a slight sourness, providing another unique dimension.
The avocado-hemp dipping sauce is optional, but assists in muting the heat of the jalapeno if needed.
*One slice of duck bacon is equivalent to a half slice of regular or turkey bacon
prep time: 30 mins
serving size: 4-6
- 1/2 lb duck bacon, sliced (or 1/2 lb regular bacon, sliced, and then cut in halves)
- 20-30 medjool dates, pitted
- 20-30 pickled jalapeno slices
- 1 avocado
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the pits from the dates and insert the pickled jalapenos in their absence. Roll each stuffed date in a full slice of duck bacon, and secure it with a toothpick if desired. If regular bacon is being used, only a half slice is needed to wrap the date. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the dates at least an inch away from each other. Bake in the oven for at least 20-25 minutes, depending on the thickness or preferred “doneness” of the bacon slices.
While the dates are roasting, place all the sauce ingredients into a blender, until an even consistency appears. Add a touch of water, if a thinner consistency is desired. Place the sauce in the refrigerator until the dates are crisped to a preferred liking. Allow the dates for cool for 3-5 minutes before serving with sauce.