Father’s Day is the perfect day to spoil your husband, dad, uncle, grandpa or other father figures in your life with something scrumptious to eat so they know how much you love them. After all, the old adage “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” exists for a reason!
These piquant Queso Fresco and Serrano Chile-Stuffed Dates wrapped in bacon are the perfectly spicy, salty and sweet decadent combination for an appetizer you can serve to impress all your guests at your Father’s Day gathering!
The best part about this recipe is that it’s very quick to prepare—you can prep the ingredients, stuff and wrap the dates in about 10 minutes and the rest is baking time. You can even prep them in advance and refrigerate overnight the day before you plan to serve them. Just pop them in a preheated oven the day of, and sit back and relax or focus on other party plans. They’re a great appetizer your guests will love, and they taste gourmet-quality—no one has to know how easy they are to prepare!
To dress up the presentation, you can serve them on knotted bamboo cocktail sticks or another kind of fancy skewer, which will also make them easier for your crew to keep their fingers clean while eating. You can also serve them on a colorful platter with cocktail forks or over a bed of herbs, such as cilantro. If your crowd isn’t a fan of spicy foods—even though this isn’t a super spicy dish—you can also substitute chopped chives or another herb of your choice in place of the serrano chile.
WHAT YOU NEED
- 3 ounces Ranchero® Queso Fresco
- 24 large Medjool Dates
- 1 Serrano Chile
- 12 pieces of thinly sliced bacon, cut in half
HOW TO MAKE IT
- Preheat the oven to 400º F.
- Line the bottom of a half-sheet pan (or other baking sheet with a lip around the edge, or jelly roll pan) with parchment paper. Place a half-sheet cooling rack over the parchment paper. This will act as a drip tray for the bacon grease.
- Cut a slit in the side of each date and remove the pit. Finely dice one serrano chile and set aside. Slice the queso fresco into small pieces. Stuff the cheese and a little bit of diced chile inside each date, being sure not to overfill them. They should close easily. Wrap each date with a half slice of bacon. Be sure to wrap it tightly around the date, closing it up at each end.
- tagger the bacon-wrapped dates on the cooling rack and bake at 400º F in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer dates to a paper towel-lined dish to drain any excess grease before serving.