cocktail party wrap-up & chorizo-stuffed dates wrapped in bacon

Last weekend, thanks to my wonderful parents (and the frequent babysitters of Maddie and Oliver), my husband and I had a lovely two nights of being child-free. Sam and I had a busy couple of evenings planned, plus we just really needed a break. I used to hate to admit that we needed time away from the kids – because that sounds awful, right? – but it’s true. Every now and then we just need time to ourselves. Last weekend was one of those times.

One of the items on our agenda was a cocktail party. And, after weeks of planning, Saturday night was the big night.  I had an entire child-free day to prepare. It was fabulous. And the party was pretty good, too.

$2 martini glasses from Crate & Barrel. LOVE them.

After much deliberation, I made the Pamplemousse Cocktail to serve as our signature cocktail. With help from Michael of A Dash of Bitters, I learned how to prepare cocktails in advance. I love learning new things, especially when it involves tasty beverages.

Made with pomegranate juice, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and vodka.

We had lots and lots of wine. In fact, we had so much wine that three or four bottles had been opened but were still nearly full, and another three or four had a glass or two left in them. We have some neighbors whom we can usually share leftover wine with — living next to us has its perks, you know — but they weren’t home. I ended up having to pour out the leftovers. Horrible, right?

The food was done potluck style – a great way to get guests involved, and also a great way to ensure there is plenty of food for everyone. I made a few dishes, and the guests brought the rest. To reward everyone for their hard work – and as bribery so they’ll show up to our next event – we gave our friends a treat to take home.

Adorable, right?

Those fabulous champagne bottle cookies were made by a new friend, Gail of One Tough Cookie. She is pretty darn amazing. The cookies were almost too cute to eat. But not quite.

Organic Medjool dates - stuffed with pork, wrapped with pork.

One of the appetizers I made for the party is one that I’ve done before, and it’s always a hit with the menfolk. Probably because it’s stuffed with pork and wrapped with pork. Very manly. Chorizo-stuffed dates wrapped with bacon is a recipe I found in Food & Wine magazine many months ago, and it’s such a simple but oh-so-tasty recipe. It’s perfect for people who don’t eat dairy products, and it’s definitely gluten-free, so you’re guaranteed to make most people happy with it. Except those who don’t eat pork, of course. This is not for them.

Yield: Makes 24

Chorizo-Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Bacon

Adapted from this recipe from Food & Wine. I followed their recipe up until the end, and then I do something different. Instead of browning them in a skillet, I use the oven. I used organic Medjool dates that I found at my local Fresh Market store. I had to pit them myself, but it's so simple to do. Simply make a slice down the length of the date with a sharp paring knife, and then pop out the pit with the tip of the knife.

Ingredients:

24 Medjool dates, pitted
1 small cooked Spanish chorizo sausage (about 2 ounces), casings removed
12 slices bacon, halved crosswise

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Find 24 toothpicks and have them ready.
Slice the chorizo crosswise into thirds. Halve each piece lengthwise, then cut each half into 4 lengthwise strips to make a total of 24 small sticks.
Tuck a chorizo stick into each date and pinch the dates closed. Wrap a strip of bacon around each date and secure with a toothpick.
Place each date on a broiler pan (or a cooling sheet set over a half sheet pan), spacing them so that none of the dates are touching. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the bacon is cooked through. Remove from the oven and serve.

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13 Responses to “heirloom tomato bruschetta”

  1. Jennie — July 29, 2010 @ 8:53 pm

    I have a tomato-hating husband too, though I can sometimes entice him with a lovely platter of freshmade bruschetta. Can I just say I’m reading this as I eat a late dinner of marinara sauce and penne. This post reminded me I have a few tomatoes on the counter and some homemade olive bread in the freezer. Now imagine that bread as a base for this bruschetta. Yeah, I’m trying to resist the urge to go make it right now…

  2. I think cereal is a great meal! And this bruschetta looks delicious too 🙂

  3. Kate @ maître de moda — July 29, 2010 @ 10:11 pm

    Thank you for this! I will be making it ASAP.
    In the first picture, is that a cutting board that the tomatoes are sitting on? I love it!

    • merrygourmet

      merrygourmet replied: — July 29th, 2010 @ 10:19 pm

      Kate – Yes, a cutting board that I picked up a couple of years ago at Bed Bath & Beyond. I love it. 🙂

  4. Monet — July 30, 2010 @ 2:18 am

    I am so loving your blog! I found you through Brian’s A Thought for Food, and I feel like one lucky girl. I adore the Splendid Table and I listened to that same segment earlier this week (I listen via podcast). Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures and a wonderful recipe!

  5. Heather @ The Single Dish — July 30, 2010 @ 9:42 am

    So pretty and looks so delicious! I love this app, great to bring or make for a party.

  6. foodies at home — July 30, 2010 @ 12:24 pm

    Beautiful! I love the mix of yellow and red tomatoes! Great photos!

  7. Brian @ A Thought For Food — July 30, 2010 @ 1:50 pm

    The Splendid Table is such a wonderful program… though I always seem to miss it. Huge fan of that and This American Life.

    Bruscetta is a perfect summer treat. It has so many wonderful, bright and crisp flavors! Perfect with a glass of white wine. I’m going to have to make this with the tomatoes that are growing in our garden. Great recipe!

  8. Ivy @ My Simple Food — August 3, 2010 @ 2:46 pm

    Thanks for the recipe, I am book marking this. Simple and yummy!

  9. Jason Phelps — August 3, 2010 @ 6:59 pm

    Simple and enjoyable. Couldn’t be better than that!

    Jason

  10. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite — August 19, 2010 @ 7:38 am

    Gorgeous and flavourful to boot. I love this time of year with the heirloom tomatoes – they really add something to a dish! Bruschetta is actually on my list of things to try very soon actually!

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  12. I use a lot of tomatoes in cooking at my house (mostly thanks to my wife, who is a great cook). Thanks for sharing…keep writing!!!

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