There was once a time in my life when I was afraid of parties. I know, crazy. But they had become daunting for me. I was newly paleo, and saw parties as places filled with temptation at every corner, and very few paleo-friendly appetizers. Most parties had veggies and guacamole, or something similar, but there was no telling if there would ever be anything else for me to fill my plate with.
This situation would leave me (in my mind) with two options: starve, or eat non-paleo foods. At first, I chose the second option. But the longer I ate a paleo diet, the more this option would leave me feeling crappy the next day. Finally, I realized, I needed to approach parties differently, because I sure as hell wasn’t going to sit at home alone eating sauerkraut the rest of my life.
Instead, I started bringing at least one dish (but often more) to every party I went to. Even if the host says they don’t need anything, no one is going to turn down free food for their guests. And when you make paleo party food, every one wants it. Because let’s face it, one of the best things about eating paleo is that the food is delicious!
Are you heading to a party this weekend? Try out my latest recipe, which I brought to a party last weekend, for bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with chorizo. It’s a super simple appetizer that one party guest described as “meat candy.” It’s an appropriate name! Try them out for yourself and let me know how you like them!
Here’s how to make these in your kitchen (makes 60 stuffed dates):
- 2 links pre-cooked chorizo (about 8 oz
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 eight-ounce bags of dried pitted dates (no sugar added), or about 60 dates
- 10 strips bacon
Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.
While the oven is pre-heating, chop the chorizo as small as possible, until it is crumbly. Add the olive oil and the chorizo to a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Cook for about 5 minutes until the chorizo begins to brown and get slightly crispy.
Prep the dates by cutting them the long way through one side, so they open like a hollow book. Be careful not to slice them through both sides or your filling with fall out! While the pitted dates should not need any other prep, be sure to check and make sure no pits snuck into the dates (I found 3 in mine!).
Prep the bacon by cutting each strip into six thin pieces, by slicing the strips into thirds, and then slicing each third lengthwise into two thin strips.
To put the appetizer together, simply stuff each date with a small amount of the chorizo (about 1 tsp fits easily, but I did not measure). I recommend using your hands to stuff the dates, closing the dates around the chorizo.
Wrap each stuffed date with one of the thin strips of bacon, wrapping the bacon around the date 1.5 times.
To bake, place each bacon-wrapped date on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Place the date so that the spot where the bacon strip overlaps is facing down on the baking pan. This will help ensure the stuffed dates stay together.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes, until the bacon is browned and crispy. Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
These are great served hot, cold or room temperature, which makes them fantastic as party food. If you’re bringing them to a party and want to serve them hot, they can be reheated in a 350-degree oven for about 10 minutes, or you can do the prep work and bake them when you get to the party!