Here is an appetizer that you may want to consider for Valentine’s Day, made using Hooray “Bacon”, which is a plant-based alternative to bacon. The entire recipe below that I received from Hooray Foods is plant-based. And as I am “MyWinePal”, I’ve also given you ideas for two wines, one white and one red, to pair with this appetizer after the recipe. Enjoy!
- 6 Medjool Dates (or any other large and soft variety)
- 3 strips Hooray “Bacon”, halved (Safeway carries this in BC)
- 1/4 cup Miyoko’s Creamery cashew milk cream cheese (or other plant-based cream cheese here in BC)
- Balsamic reduction, or any other sweet and dark glaze (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350° F (176° C)
- Allow bacon to warm to room temperature until warm enough to roll without breaking. If too cold, seal in a plastic bag and place in a warm water bath until pliable).
- Cut bacon strip into half-length strips, to make 6 total wraps.
- Pit dates by slicing one side top to bottom with a pairing knife. Gently remove pits without further tearing dates. Discard pits.
- Using a spoon or piping bag, stuff dates with approximately 1 tsp cashew milk cream cheese without overfilling. Gently close dates around cheese, leaving a thin strip still visible. (I think Whole Foods will likely have a nut cream cheese.)
- Wrap dates tightly with Hooray Bacon and press directly onto a baking sheet to hold. If bacon wrap won’t hold, feel free to use a toothpick or skewer to secure.
- Bake for 20 min at 350°, or until the bacon has evenly browned and crisped around the date.
- Optional- lightly drizzle dates with balsamic reduction (or any other dark sweet glaze you choose) before serving.
- Important- allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving, as the internal temperature will be very high out of the oven. Also, bacon will continue to crisp while cooling.
Suggested Wine Pairings
What wine would you pair this dish with for Valentine’s Day. Try a mineral, fresh and crisp Chablis. If you prefer red wine, open a bottle of BC Pinot Noir. The acidity should work well with the creaminess of the cheese and the smokiness from the Hooray “Bacon”. Example Pinots would be from Spearhead Winery, Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars, Ramification Cellars, and Blue Grouse Estate Winery.
As a bit of extra info, Hooray Bacon is also gluten-free and soy-free, in case you have food sensitivity. Hooray Bacon has three main ingredients: coconut oil, rice flour, and tapioca starch.