Ummmm hi I'm Kristina and iminlovewithchorizo. Andfestivedrinks. And especially when they fantastic food is combined with fantastic drinks. Wins to everyone all around. Confused? Keep reading. (Especially because toady's recipe is with Dani, one of my favorite people ever.)
When I moved to New Mexico, I quickly became enamored, ob.sessed. actually, with chorizo. Chorizo perfectly combines flavors usually found in Mexican food, tangy pork, and sublime spiciness. Chorizo is greasy, definitely, but I have yet to find a meat spiced quite as perfectly tasty as chorizo.
Chorizo is most commonly found as a counterpart to eggs, like in a breakfast burrito, and less occasionally as a topping on flatbreads and pizza. Chorizo isn't wildly common outside of the Southwest; I think this might be because a lot of people are scared of chorizo, they just don't know how to make it so they stick to the most tried and true ways.
Last year, I created my Sweet n' Spicy Bacon Wrapped Dates, and they continue to be one of my most popular recipes on South of Vanilla. They're so loved, that even I have fallen into the habit of making them frequently. Currently, they're my most favorite breakfast (I know, not even a breakfast food...but there is bacon?), when I even bother to eat breakfast, because I can eat them easily while driving. I even made these dates last year for our family's Thanksgiving where they were agreed upon as "divine".
For this Thanksgiving, not only have I given you another variation of dates, but I’ve paired up with Dani from Care to Pair to give you the perfect Thanksgiving drink pairing for this new favorite recipe. Dani and her husband Andrew created an Andalucia Cocktail, which is entirely uncommon and definitely underutilized. This cocktail is made with walnut liquer and sherry, and pretty much screams “holiday” in a cup. Swoon.
And it totally goes great with this recipe.
Bacon wrapped dates definitely were a trendy food of 2014, but I am taking my date game this year to the next level. I know you see where I am going with this next: chorizo combined with dates. And goat cheese, because ummmm, goat cheese.
These Chorizo and Goat Cheese stuffed dates are so. good. Trust me, they won't last long. You might even want to make a double or triple batch. The honey-balsamic drizzle even makes them food channel worthy, but no one needs to know that it took all of 2 minutes to come together.
I am definitely making them this Thanksgiving (and every other week this year), especially since they make for such a gorgeous presentation, ESPECIALLY since these come along with an unusual and festive drink. Enjoy!
Some cook's notes:
- Goat cheese isn't paleo, but some people tolerate the type of lactose found in goat milk much better than cow's milk.
- The parsley in this recipe is mainly for garnish, you can omit if you would like.
Chorizo and Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates with Honey-Balsamic Drizzle with Andalucia Holiday Cocktail
For the dates:
- 30 dates, pitted lengthwise
- 3 oz goat cheese
- 1/2 lb chorizo
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp. dried oregano
For the drizzle:
- 1/8 cup honey
- 1/8 cup balsamic
- 2 tsp. Olive oil
- Dash of salt
- In a medium sized frying pan, brown your chorizo. Set aside and let cool completely.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a lipped baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, add cooled chorizo, goat cheese, garlic, and oregano. Using a large spoon, mix well until well incorporated. You may want to use your hands.
- Fill dates by placing approximately a teaspoon of chorizo goat cheese mixture into each date.
- Place filled dates onto baking sheet and bake on middle rack for 25 minutes.
- While dates are baking, whisk honey, balsamic, olive oil and salt. Set aside.
- Once dates are done baking, assemble on a platter and drizzle with honey-balsamic.
- Enjoy immediately and serve with Andalucia Holiday Cocktail.