Devilishly Good: Pumpkin & Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates

Pumpkin Devils on Horseback

One of my all-time, go-to apps is blue cheese stuffed dates wrapped in prosciutto, or as date eaters in the know call them, Devils on Horseback. They’re really simple to prepare and cook in a matter of minutes, plus their sticky-sweet-chewy-saltiness makes them sooo addictive.

I recently attended a fall potluck party and decided to autumn-ize my favorite devils by subbing the normal blue cheese filling with pumpkin goat cheese. They were just as delicious as the original version, with a festive seasonal twist. Your friends will rave about them, and only you will have to know the spooooky secret of these fall treats: they’re stupid easy to make.

Pumpkin Devils on Horseback

20 dates, pitted
1 small (about 4oz) goat cheese log
1/8 cup pumpkin puree
8 (thin!) slices of good prosciutto
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
black pepper & sea salt

Preheat the oven to 400°.

Let the goat cheese sit out for awhile so it’s nice and softened, then combine with the pumpkin puree. Add pumpkin pie spice and a couple pinches of S&P.

Stuff the dates with your filling – you want them to be nice and full but not overflowing, because obv the cheese is going to get melty in the oven and you don’t want a huge mess on your hands. I probably used about 1-2 teaspoons in each date?

Wrap each stuffed date in prosciutto. Just tear off a 1″ ribbon from the slice and stick it around the fruit. It doesn’t have to be perfect at all.

Place all your stuffed & wrapped dates on a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake in the oven for just about 5-10 minutes. Once the prosciutto has kind of “melted” into the date and you can see the bottom of the dates slightly caramelizing, you’re good to go. Make sure to let these devils cool for about 10 minutes before serving – they get hotter than hell in that oven!

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So What Can I Eat on a Date?

If you know me personally (or even via Twitter), you know I’ve been doing quite a share of dating recently. So when I stumbled across Thought Catalog’s 20 Foods To Avoid On A Date…I realized maybe I’m ordering the wrong shit.

Although I don’t always do first dates over dinner because I don’t like eating with people I’m not very familiar with…some guys just insist, and I mean come on. I’m a writer. I’m not about to turn down a free meal.

Here’s the start of their list (you can read the rest over at Thought Catalog):

  1. Corn on the cob
  2. Buffalo wings
  3. Spaghetti
  4. Candy apple
  5. Egg drop soup
  6. Crunchy tacos + over-application of salsas and various watery sauces
  7. The tail end of a spider roll
  8. Spare ribs
  9. Steamed/ boiled spinach as main course
  10. Nachos that use ‘cheese sauce’ instead of cheese

Fine, I’m probably not going to eat buffalo wings or corn on the cob on a date. Or a gas station hot dog. Because…if that’s what you’re eating on a date, that’s the least of your problems. But really. Egg drop soup? SPAGHETTI? CHEESE SAUCE? I LOVE CHEESE SAUCE. For the love of god, what am I supposed to eat on a date?

And for the record, I ate olives with pits discarded in a nearby dish on two recent dates (with the same man) who still seems interested. What I’m saying is…if my date likes olives, I’m going to take advantage of that shit.

But what do I know. I AM single. Am I single because I’m ordering the wrong foods? Does dating mean I have to give up my foodie-ness until I become comfortable enough with a person to eat a burrito?

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A Date for Any Occasion

I met up with my friend Raya late last week. Her dog Sampson had died just a few days prior. We remembered the very, very large animal over a few Basil Haydens. I convinced her to put together a service of sorts for him. She agreed on a potluck for Sunday late afternoon.

I thought about what to make for the occasion. Originally I wanted to bring what I consider funeral food – a bagel platter with cream cheese, smoked fish (lox and whitefish) and all the trimmings (lettuce, onion, tomato, sliced cheeses.)  Sometimes being from a Jewish family is really delicious. But I decided instead to bring what could either be an hors d’oeuvre or dessert.

I wanted to mix and match sweetness and savory. It’s conflicting messages to the tongue, much like the death of a loved one. There’s sadness, yet comfort in knowing the person or pet is no longer in pain. Like dear Sampson. And while I’m on the topic of pets – I wanted to give a shout out to our beloved Bianca. She’s been featured on Endless Simmer for her delicious Halloween costume when she dressed as a Double Stuffed Oreo. Liza’s cat also passed away this year. We will miss them both.

But on to the food.

Feta Dates with Pepper and Honey

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Top 10 All-Time ES Recipes

Ever wonder which recipes your ES co-readers are ogling most? Well here’s the rundown. From our humble beginnings throwing all our leftovers into a sushi roll to our more refined recipes for putting an egg on everything, here are the Top 10 all-time most-read recipes from the Endless Simmer archives. Click the pics to check ’em out.

10. Hot Dog Sushi

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9. Feta and Roasted Pepper Egg Sandwich

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8. Bacon-Wrapped Date ‘Cannolis’ with Pine Nuts

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7.  Homemade Ketchup

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6. Marshmallow Nachos

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Next: Top 5 All-Time ES Recipes

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Appetizers All Night

dates

My back hurts. Really hurts. I have no idea how chefs stand for that many hours in a row. I just finished my most recent catering gig. This was with 80P’s mom again. I conducted many, many brainstorming conversations (thanks: Maids, Romeo, El, WestCoast, BS, 80P…) but because I’m so used to Eating Down the Fridge (using up ingredients in my fridge/pantry and not shopping for new food) that I could only fathom working with items already in my possession, or ones I knew I could pick up while working at the farmers market.

Fortunately, I was recently in Philly for work and had some spare time before dinner (ate at Monk’s–mussels, fries and stout–with BroadAndPattison). I found this adorable nut shack: Nuts to You.

I’m not even kidding, I was in that place for 45 minutes browsing the 4 aisle store filled with nuts, dried fruits, grains and candies. I  walked out with, and I’m still not kidding, FIVE pounds of food, which I then had to drag around as I wasted more time checking out Banana Republic, Lacoste, Williams-Sonoma (don’t get me started on their uni-tasker inventory; they have 6 instruments alone to peel and chop garlic) and this weird all-natural soap and lotion place with the perkiest staff of all time. Soap that smells like pine nuts and lavender, no thanks.

I left Nuts To You with: dried dates (pound), dried figs (pound), quinoa (pound), mixed bag of almonds, cashews, peanuts, hazelnuts and walnuts (pound) and cashew butter (pound). Yes, not peanut butter, but cashew butter. And I saw them make it. There was this crazy looking glass machine with some peanut oil in it and the salesperson dumped a pound of cashews into the machine and then out oozed cashew butter. No salt, no preservatives, no corn syrup. Just nuts and oil. A-mazing.

Anyway, with that in the cupboard, here is what I proposed to 80P’s Mom:

  1. Dates and figs (either or both) stuffed with cheese (either ricotta, goat cheese or quark) and herbs. This can be served warm or room temp and can be stuck with a toothpick for serving
  2. Sweet potato disks with cashew butter and chili powder spread  ( Can spread the cashew butter on top of the chips or let people dip it)
  3. On a toothpick: cube of roasted winter squash, cube of feta, cube of squash
  4. Cucumber slice with Greek yogurt, lemon zest and quinoa
  5. Artichoke, olive and caper crostini
  6. Radish, cashew butter and broccoli (Or the broccoli can be cooked)

80P’s Mom selections after the jump.

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