Just because Thanksgiving is all about the dinner doesn’t mean you should forget about the appetizers. If you spend all day cooking, or at the very least sitting around smelling what’s cooking, the last thing you want to do when the relatives descend is stand around still waiting for food. Whether your family is super close or this is the only time you are going to see each other all year, it’s a holiday so when they day finally comes you are going to want to break out the booze and the appropriate snacks to go with it.
These stuffed dates are warm and crunchy and cheesy. First of all, there is no way you can wrap something in bacon and tell me it doesn’t taste good. They are easy to pick up and hold in your hand so you can wander around among your relatives. Or better yet, easily maneuver around that crazy aunt that will grill you about why it is you still aren’t married.
Plus these go really well with a glass of Grenache, preferably something from Spain because these are nothing if not the perfect little tapas.The dark, blackberry fruit of the Grenache can stand up to the richness of the bacon and matches nicely with the sweetness of the dates. Additionally, Grenache pairs notoriously well with a wide range of cheeses, meaning the Asiago ties everything together. Or of course you could pair this with a nice strong cocktail for fortify yourself against the family craziness.
These mixed nuts are warm and spicy and easy to grab a handful of or stand around the bowl catching up.
Best of all, they pair really nicely with a glass of Viognier or a glass of sparkling to start of the party. Viognier pairs beautifully with anything that is a mix of sweet and spicy much like these nuts and it is excellent with anything involving curry. Plus Viognier is one the of the wines that carries over to pairing with your whole Thanksgiving dinner, but more about that tomorrow.
- 12 Medjool Dates
- 3 ounces Asiago cheese, cut into 24 little cubes
- 4 slices of bacon
- 24 toothpicks, soaked in water
- Preheat the oven to 425°F
- Slit the dates length wise to remove the seed and then cut in half width wise.
- Stuff each date half with a cube of asiago cheese
- Next, slice each strip of bacon in half length wise and then roll the date halves in the bacon so that the strip wraps all the way around the date. Secure the bacon with a toothpick and place on your baking sheet.
- Repeat with remaining dates
- Once they are all lined up on the baking sheet sprinkle with paprika
- Bake for 12 minutes, turning once halfway through to ensure the bacon is evenly cooked on all sides.
- Let cool slightly and enjoy
- 2 egg whites
- 2 cups roasted salted almonds
- 2 cups roasted salted peanuts
- 2 cups walnut halves
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ tablespoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons garlic salt
- ¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 250°F and line a baking sheet with a silicon mat
- In a large bowl whisk the egg whites until frothy and stir in all the nuts.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the sugar and all the spices and stir to mix together.
- Sprinkle the sugar and spice mixture over the nuts and toss to evenly coat.
- Arrange the nuts in a single layer on your baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes until they are golden brown and fragrant.
- Allow to cool for about an hour and then break them up into bite size pieces and place in serving bowls.
- These nuts will keep in an airtight container for about a week.
Keep checking back this week for a whole range of Thanksgiving dinner wine pairings, an awesome Thanksgiving leftover sandwich and an apple cider bourbon cocktail to help you enjoy (or get you through) the season.