Fancy is not my middle name.
Like, at all.
Especially now– being a stay-at-home mom to a little rambunctious almost three year old.
What is this fancy word you speak of again?
I envision fancy meaning the ability to dress up in nice clothes, wear some bling bling, actually putting on makeup and possibly even doing something with my hair. Oh! Oh! And going out to a place where they serve you all sorts of yummy food and fine wines and there is a lovely serenade happening in the background.
Only one problem.
Mama is on a tight budget and doesn’t like spending $8 on four dates. Sure, the experience is nice but I’m kind of a home-body and would much rather enjoy eating 8 dates for the price of the four you’d get at the restaurant. Plus, I’d be in the comfort of my own home which means I can have more wine and not have to worry about driving.
Mama: 1, Fancy-Shmancy: 0.
But wait, there is more good news! These are even better than restaurant-made because they are not fried in vegetable oil– instead they are fried in coconut oil.
Let’s just go over real quickly 5 reasons why I really love these bacon wrapped dates and the honey-mustard balsamic reduction sauce that tops it.
5 Reasons I Love These Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed With Manchego Cheese and Ham
1. It Sounds Fancy But It’s Not
Need to impress some company you are having? Or maybe even just want to show off your amazing cooking skills? When you tell your friends you made bacon wrapped dates stuffed with Manchego cheese and ham and fried in coconut oil, well, they’ll probably think you are the Goddess of all kitchens.
Manchego cheese? Bacon wrapped dates? Honey-mustard balsamic reduction?
Umm, can you just take me a to little cafe in the rolling hills of Spain, serve me some wine and play some authentic Spanish music while I enjoy these? So fancy. So exotic. So simple.
Oh and guess what? If you can’t find Manchego cheese , just substitute it for plain ol’ cheddar cheese and it still tastes great.
Shoot. They even look fancy!
2. Super, Ridiculously Easy To Make
Like, super-de-duperly easy. Prep time takes eh, maybe 15 minutes and cooking time takes about 5-8 minutes. It does not require many dishes to dirty and they can be made ahead of time.
Every busy Mama’s dream.
Sweet and salty. Savory and delectable. Crunchy but soft. Aromatic and tempting. Add the balsamic-honey sauce and you’ve got tangy and pleasant.
Yeah. Pretty much an orgasmic taste that everyone should experience.
4. Great Choice for Holidays, Special Occasions & Gatherings
If you add up reasons 1-3 of why I love these bacon wrapped dates then the reason for number 4 is a no brainer! Be the star of the show and have everyone talking about how amazing and sophisticated your dates were.
Little do they know how ridiculously simple it was to make. Sssshhh, it’s our little secret.
Need I say more?
These dates are inspired from a local Spanish restaurant. These are way better because they are not fried in nasty vegetable oil– instead, they are fried in a refined coconut oil at a lower temperature.
Note: The directions look long but it doesn’t take much time at all!
- 10 organic medjool dates, pitted
- 10 slices of pastured bacon
- 2 oz. Manchego cheese (or can substitute with cheddar) ** If you are at Whole Foods, the kind of Manchego cheese I purchased is called Cordobes. It's a younger aged cheese so it is much more creamier.
- ½ slice ham (I use Applegate's Uncured Organic Ham), diced very small
- 1 cup refined coconut oil (where to buy)
- ¼ cup honey (will be heated so raw is unnecessary)
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp organic dijon mustard
- Place refined coconut oil in a small pot and melt on medium-high heat
- Slice date in half and remove pit; do this to all dates
- Slice cheese into small ½ inch wide pieces and place into date where the seed was
- Stuff a few (5-6 pieces) of the diced ham around cheese
- Squeeze the opening of dates shut
- Place on one end of the bacon and begin rolling. Halfway through the slice of bacon, turn clockwise a half turn and continue rolling until no more bacon is left; tuck end of bacon under. **Don't worry if it doesn't stay all the way, when it is in the fryer, it will stick together
- Place 1-3 bacon wrapped dates into oil; cook until brown on each side (about 5 minutes); do this until all dates have been cooked
- When all the dates have been fried, add optional honey-balsamic reduction if wanted
- Enjoy with a nice glass of wine and good company
- Combine in a small, shallow pan on high heat.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to low and stir until sauce becomes syrupy (5-8 minutes after boiling point).
- While still warm, drizzle sauce over fried dates and make a fancy design if desired.