Thursday, April 3, 2014

Proscuitto Wrapped Fresh Ginger Dates with Balsamic Reduction

My parents recently went on a short trip to southern California to visit my grandma.  One of the treats they brought back with them were some California dates.  I was so excited about them, and wanted to make something that really showcased the dates.

I had some prosciutto in the freezer, and decided I wanted to make prosciutto wrapped dates.  But what else could I do to make them a little more special?  Hmmmm...  I decided to make a little cream cheese filling.

Let's get started!

I started out by putting 2 ounces of softened cream cheese in a sandwich bag,

then added a nice handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese,

And followed it up with a nice teaspoon of freshly grated ginger (Charlie's wonderful idea).

Then, I added a dash of salt and freshly ground pepper, and mushed the ingredients all up until they were well mixed.  I twisted up the sandwich bag like a frosting bag, and it was ready to go.

Now, on to the dates!  Aren't they beautiful?

I started by making a cut in the side of each date, and opening it up a little.

Then, cut off a corner of my "frosting" bag, and put a stripe of cream cheese filling in the center of each date.

This recipe will make about 25 date appetizers.

Ah, the prosciutto. 

Cut each piece of prosciutto in half length-wise.

Then, place a cream-cheese-filled date at one end and roll it up.

As a side note, don't roll the prosciutto as tightly as I did - I later decided they would be more attractive with some loose ruffles of prosciutto around each date.

But, we live and learn, don't we?  I placed each wrapped date on a wire rack that should have been on a foil-lined cookie sheet (the cookie sheet was nasty to clean so I would recommend lining the cookie sheet with tin foil).

Then baked the dates for 20 minutes and finished off by broiling for 3 minutes.  While they were cooking, I reduced down the sauce.

The finished appetizers - sweet lovely date, cream cheese enhanced by a bit of fresh ginger, delicious prosciutto, and a drizzle of balsamic reduction.

An absolutely delicious, harmony of pop-in-your-mouth-sweet-and-saltiness.

The only thing I would do differently next time would be to place a toasted half pecan on top of the cream cheese mixture and wrap it all up in the prosciutto.  The nutty-crunchiness completely finished off these amazing appetizers.

 Prosciutto Wrapped Fresh Ginger Dates with Balsamic Reduction

  • 25 pitted dates
  • 1 package prosciutto, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 2 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • a dash of salt and freshly grated black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 25 pecan halves, toasted

Preheat oven to 30 degrees F.  In a sandwich bag, mix together cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, and ginger.  Set aside.  Cut along one side of each date and pipe some of the cream cheese mixture into the center of each date.  Top with a pecan half.  Slice each piece of prosciutto in half lengthwise.

Wrap each date loosely in a strip of prosciutto.  Place on an oven-safe wire rack that is placed on top of a foil lined cookie sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes, then set oven to broil, move cookie sheet to the top rack and set the timer for 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, make your balsamic reduction.  Place balsamic vinegar, honey, salt, pepper and ginger in a small sauce pan.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat and let bubble while whisking till the balsamic reduce by about 75 percent - this will take 5 to 10 minutes.

Serve prosciutto wrapped dates with your balsamic reduction.

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