I first tried devils on horseback several years ago at Justice Snow’s, a hip and historic restaurant in downtown Aspen, Colorado. They were amazing! After that, whenever I saw them on a menu, I ordered them. Each time I’d think, “Good, but not as good as those we had at Justice Snow’s.” I finally decided to try making some.
It’s a simple recipe: dates stuffed with goat cheese and smoked almonds, wrapped in bacon. When I first started making them, I used raw bacon and cooked them in the oven. Since I’m always looking for shortcuts in my one-butt kitchen, I tried pre-cooked bacon and heated them in the microwave. They were just as good, not as messy, and much faster to make.
Since I’d perfected the recipe to my satisfaction, I wanted to taste the delicious appetizer that had inspired my quest. Last year when we were in Aspen, I went back to Justice Snow’s. I nearly cried when I found out the restaurant had closed. I even asked the hostess at the restaurant currently occupying the building if any of Justice Snow’s cooks worked there. None did, so I’ll never know how they made theirs, and if mine resembles theirs in any way.
Some recipes call for blue cheese or cream cheese instead of goat cheese. Even though I LOVE blue cheese, my personal preference for this dish is goat cheese. If you want to decide for yourself, make a few of each. Let me know which you prefer.
If you’d like to know more about Aspen, Colorado — a playground for rich and famous jet setters — you can read about it at http://www.motorhome.com/top-stories/aspen-a-rocky-mountain-playground/. Our “RV setters” had a pretty good time there too.
Preparation time: 10 minutes Total time: 10 minutes
Specialized Kitchen Utensils:
- Microwave oven
- 12 jumbo Medjool dates
- 12 slices precooked bacon
- 24 smoked almonds (I used Blue Diamond Smokehouse Almonds)
- 4 oz goat cheese (or blue cheese or cream cheese)
Slice one side of the jumbo dates from end to end. Remove the pits. Place two smoked almonds lengthwise in each date. Fill each date with goat cheese. Wrap a piece of precooked bacon around each date. Secure the bacon with a toothpick.
Place dates on a microwave-safe dish. Cook on high for 30 seconds, repeating until the cheese and bacon are warm. (Microwaves vary, especially in RVs, so do what works for you. If your microwave has cold spots, you may want to rearrange them on the plate once or twice.)
If you’d rather start with raw bacon, preheat the oven to 400. Cut 6 slices of bacon in half crosswise. Soak the toothpicks in water for a few minutes. Assemble according to directions above. Put on a prepared baking sheet. (I put parchment paper on a baking sheet, then top it with a wire cooling rack. It keeps the wrapped dates from sitting in the bacon grease.) Cook for 20 to 25 minutes.