1 (12 ounce) container Medjool dates, pitted
1 pound thick sliced hardwood smoked bacon
1/4 pound manchego cheese
freshly cracked black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with tin foil & set a metal cooling rack on top. Remove the pits from the dates by making a small slice into the date with a paring knife. Gently slide a finger in to pop out the pit & discard. Chop a pieces of the manchego cheese large enough to stuff inside the date. Place one stripe of bacon on a cooking board & slice into three equals sections. Take one section & wrap around the cheese stuffed date; Set seem side down on cooling rack. Repeat with remaining dates. Grind fresh black pepper on top of bacon wrapped dates & bake until the bacon is crisp, 20 to 30 minutes. Serve with romesco sauce or honey drizzled over the top.
bacon recipe courtesy of: Michael Norpell, for Foodista, August 13, 2011