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Baked Dates filled with Chevre and Wrapped in Bacon

Ok, I don’t eat bacon, buuuuuut, these I had to try.

These bad boys are a crowd pleaser for sure. They are so rich so you wont need to make more than about 2 per person.



I really, really encourage you to use organic meat and especially support producers who use humane methods of farming. I made these for a private dinner party I catered, (who wanted to keep the menu local and seasonal- yes- I love it!) so I bought the bacon from Prather Ranch. They’re really a great ranch and raise their animals in a healthy and happy environment. Yea Prather!



There is nothing esthetically appealing about baked dates wrapped in bacon. Uh, so brown and boring. I definietly knew I’d have to dress these up a bit with color and fesh herbs.
I bought leaves from the florist at Whole Foods to put on the plate and pinched a bit of fresh thyme onto each date


Ingredients:
Medjool Dates, 2 times the number of pieces of bacon you use
Chevre (Goat Cheese)
Bacon, organic. trimmed and cut crosswise in half

Pit the dates
Fill each date with about 1/2 t of chevre
Wrap each date in a piece of bacon, stem side down and cheesy side up
Place on a baking sheet lined with foil
Place under the broiler for about 2 minutes on each side to get them nice and crispy.
Let stand for a couple of minutes before serving.
Stick ’em with a toothpick and sprinkle with fresh herbs

easy peasy!

Note:
I found that just baking them did not get the bacon crispy enough.
Because I made these for an event, I broiled them for a few minutes hours before and just reheated them in the oven right before serving.

cheesy side up, bacon stem side down
 

Potato Leek Soup with Hearty Croutons and Creme Fraiche


As my cousin said, “very flavorful and not too rich”

A soup before a meal really does not, and should not, have to be heavy and rich. You want to finish your soup feeling satisfied and ready for your main entree.
I made this soup for a private dinner party that I catered. My ABSOLUTE favorite part of catering is working with clients to come up with a wonderful, creative, seasonal menu.
This party’s menu was particularly lovely.
Appetizers:
Buckwheat blini with smoked trout and creme fraiche (recipe)
Baked dates filled with cevre and wrapped in bacon (recipe)
Crostini with Grilled Radicchio in a balsamic dressing topped with shaved Parmigiano
First Course:
Potato leek soup
Main:
New York Steaks (from Prather Ranch)
Point Reyes Blue Cheese Butter
French Fries
Steamed Artichoke with lemon and thyme
Dessert:
Flourless Chocolate Cake
(I’ll work on posting the wonderful recipes)

I chose this soup because it does not call for cream, unlike a lot of potato leek soups. I think cream can make recipes too rich and fillling, not what i was looking to do here.
Adapted from Simple Recipes
This recipe can easily be doubled, tripled…
Serves 4-6
Ingredients:
3 Large Leeks, cut lengthwise, white and light green parts only, chopped
2 T butter
2 cups water
2 cups chicken broth (I used vegetarian, hey, why not!?)
2 lbs potatoes, peeled and diced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 t fresh thyme, chopped
salt and pepper
Cook leeks in the butter with salt and pepper
(funny side note, I forgot I added pepper and thought that it was dirt from the leeks not being washed well enough! duh!)
Cook until nice and tender- About 10 minutes- DO NOT brown the leeks. Browning will give the leeks a burnt flavor.
In a stockpot add the water and broth. I then added the potatoes as I was peeling and chopping- keeping them from turning brown.
Scrape all the leeks and their juices into the stockpot of broth and potatoes
Bring to a low simmer and cok for 20 minutes.
I used a hand blender to puree the soup. You can control the chunkyness… I pureed it completely because I didn’t want any chunks… up to you though.
Add the parsley and thyme and some fresh pepper (not dirt) and salt to taste.
Croutons:
Preheat 425
Find the hearty-est bread you can
Cut into even cubes
toss with olive oil, garlic oil and salt and pepper
Bake on a cookie sheet, tossing frequently, 15 minutes
 

Wikia Food & Tech Event:

Catered Events 0 Comments

This September I was honored to be one of 6 chefs asked to cook at Wikipedia’s Food & Tech Event at San Francisco’s Ferry Building
(view the event’s website here)

The chefs and I were given a list of about 20 recipes, that had been submitted by Wikia Followers, and we were told to choose one recipe.
We were given the freedom to be creative and add our own personal twists to the recipe we chose.
I Chose a Salad with Apples, Gingered Walnuts and Gorgonzola (recipe)
I chose this recipe because I love all these ingredients and it seemed very fresh and like something I would make for myself anyway!
I decided to make a trio of what would be a first course, entree and dessert, incorporating all three main ingredients into each course.
First Course:
(the recipe chosen) Gorgonzola, Apple and Ginger Walnut Salad served in Endive
Entree:
Buckwheat Blini topped with smoked trout, gorgonzola creme fraiche and green apple peels for garnish
(recipe)
Dessert:
Apple Cobbler with oat and walnut crumble and honey ginger Marscapone
(recipe)
The First and Second Course
Topping the Apple Cobbler with Honey Ginger Marscapone

Being a dork :o)

The End