My husband and I started a 10 week culture class upon moving to Japan. We were fortunate to have eight Japanese volunteers from the International Friendship Society of Olympus give us classes on various cultural activities. It was AWESOME!!! Our favorite was going to a Japanese pub and singing Karaoke! Never in a million years would I sing Karaoke but after more than one Japanese beer and some siplets of sake….this is me singing Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, but I am not sure what my husband and the other two guys are doing!
Last night was our graduation and we all had to bring an American pot luck dish to share. I racked my brain trying to figure out something to take….deviled eggs, pasta salad, Lil’ Smokies in a crock pot? NO!!!! I had to really impress our incredible Japanese hosts. Finally it came to me…..what is more American than BACON???
This recipe was given to me by my friend Linda who said, “They look kinda gross but just eat it.” I didn’t even know what a date was, but I tried it and it was delectable! So when your friends say they don’t like dates you must force feed them these. Remind them that lots of things would taste good stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon….like cardboard or even old shoes.
· 30 to 40 pitted dates
· 8oz mozzarella cheese
· 1 package bacon (I use pricy center cut because I am a snob like that)
· Soy sauce
First you will have to slice the dates open like a hot dog bun. I try and get the Anne’s House of Nuts dates because they are mostly the same size but you can use whatever brand you want. You will find the dates in with the dried fruits and fancy nut packages or sometimes in the baking section.
Inside each date you will want to put a chunk of mozzarella cheese.
Next, take about 1/3 slice of bacon and wrap it around the cheese filled date and secure with a toothpick like this….
Line them all up on a foil lined cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray. WARNING: Be sure to foil your cookie sheet or else you will be scraping bacony cheese gunk off of it later. EXTRA WARNING: Spray the foil lined sheet with cooking spray or else you will have Bacon-n-Foil Wrapped Dates. You should end up with about 40.
Before you pop those little stinkers in the oven sprinkle them all lightly with soy sauce. Just a sprinkle….don’t go rain shower on them. Now they go in a 450 F oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes you can check on them if you smell burning. Usually some of the cheese that has melted off will start to burn. This is OK. You do not need to take them out until the bacon looks like it is getting crispy….like this.
When they seem done (about 15minutes or so), just on the verge of a house full of burning bacon, take them out of the oven and remove onto a serving plate. They are best just out of the oven but completely good cooled down too.
Special note: If you are the one who slaved over them you are allowed the cheesy bacon grease remains that are left on the foil after cooking. Do not show your husband or children this or you won’t get any. Extra Special Note: If you eat the cheesy bacon grease remains you have to take your kids on a 5k run the next day like I did. Enjoy!
Abbey, Allison and Lynnie (me). Abbey and Allison both did their first 5k this morning!
Special thanks to our wonderful Japanese hosts from Olympus! We made friends for life!