eat in my kitchen

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Tag: bacon

A Summery Berry and Bacon Panzanella with Rosemary

Berry and Bacon Panzanella

A Tuscan Panzanella salad had been on my mind for weeks, I could clearly picture the colourful composition: Dark red cherries, crunchy bacon, crisp arugula (rucola), and chunks of spongy ciabatta dripping with olive oil and thick Balsamico vinegar and then sprinkled with woody rosemary. I was just waiting for the fruits to arrive at my Turkish vegetable shop around the corner.

Unfortunately, the day I planned to throw the salad together, my trusted vegetable man didn’t have cherries and – what worried me even more – the weather was dull and grey. The first problem was easily solved, I replaced sweet cherries with even juicier strawberries, blueberries, and figs, which made the whole thing even more mushy and luscious. It tasted great, but the soggy look made it rather difficult to catch a pretty picture. Even more so as they just put scaffolding in front of my kitchen window, which means the light situation in this room is far from ideal.

In these moments I always know why I love food so much and why photography, sometimes, drives me crazy. Food either tastes good or it doesn’t, of course it should look appetizing, but I believe what tastes good also looks good. But photography has its own rules and mysteries, to be able to capture a dish’s yumminess in a picture, the conditions need to be right, especially the light. So please, when you look at the pictures in today’s post, think of summery-sweet fruit juices, porky saltiness crisped in the pan, the freshness of green leaves, and the confidence of Mediterranean rosemary. Buon appetito!

Berry and Bacon Panzanella

Berry and Bacon Panzanella with Rosemary

Serves 2-4

For the dressing

olive oil 3 tablespoons
Balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon
white Balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon
fresh rosemary, very finely chopped, about 2 teaspoons
fine sea salt
ground pepper

For the Panzanella

olive oil
bacon 4 slices
arugula (rucola) or mixed lettuce leaves, torn, a large handful
ciabatta or rustic white loaf, cut into chunks, 2 large handfuls
strawberries, cut in half, a handful
blueberries, a handful
figs, quartered, 2

For the dressing, whisk all the ingredients together and season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the Panzanella, heat a small splash of olive oil in a heavy pan over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook for a few minutes on both sides until crispy and golden brown. Take the bacon out of the pan, let it cool for a few minutes, and break into large pieces.

In a large bowl, spread the greens and lay the chunks of bread on top. Arrange the fruits and bacon on top of the bread and pour the dressing all over the Panzanella. Serve immediately, preferably for lunch, accompanied by a glass of white or rosé wine, and think of your next holiday.

Berry and Bacon Panzanella

 

Berry and Bacon Panzanella

 

Berry and Bacon Panzanella

 

Berry and Bacon Panzanella

My Maltese Winter Sandwich: Pomegranate Chicken, Red Coleslaw & Bacon

Sponsored by Volkswagen.

My Maltese Winter Sandwich: Pomegranate Chicken , Red Coleslaw and Bacon

We drove down the winding road to the Grand Harbour in Valletta and stopped our cars in front of an old garage. The wooden door must have seen many storms, the green paint faded and the hinges rusted, it’s the salt in the air that takes over whatever it gets hold of. Our friends Michelle and Michelangelo came down to the harbour in the cutest Volkswagen beetle the world has ever seen – in baby blue (Michelangelo would correct me and say it’s Diamond Blue). Built in 1968, the car only changed owner once, when our friends bought it in 2010 from an elderly lady from the village of Qormi. It was in mint condition despite its 110,000 original kilometres. The previous owner’s name was Teresa and she became the eponym of our friend’s little love bug, since then, the beetle is affectionately called Terez.

Terez – and her original 1300cc single port engine, a fact that Michelangelo points out with pride in his voice – has seen a lot since she found her new owner: four overland trips, the latest being our friend’s honeymoon trip last summer. The three of them (including Terez) attended the Le Bug Show 2016 in Spa and crossed half of Europe to get there. Malta, Sicily, France, Switzerland, Belgium, and Germany added 5,400 kilometres to the tachometer and seemed to have made the bond between the car and its owners even stronger.

Every car needs a check up once in a while, especially when it’s nearly 50 years old, and to make it a little more fun, I joined my friends and brought some food and my camera. While Michelangelo laid hands on the tires, I kept mine busy preparing sandwiches for all of us. It’s the peak of winter, a time of year when I usually have to confront Berlin’s seemingly endless, yawning grey sky for weeks and months, but here in Malta I’m spoilt with sunshine and vibrant colours. This inspired me to come up with a snack as fresh and bright as the Mediterranean world around me. It’s a chicken sandwich, the meat tender and thinly sliced, with purple coleslaw and orange wedges, sparkling pomegranate seeds (some of which I turned into a sticky syrup), crunchy bacon bites, and pungent green onions. The composition is rather difficult to eat, but trust me, the pleasure that you’ll feel when you taste it, is absolutely worth it. And the solution is simple, just squeeze it until the sticky juices run out of the sandwich and soak the soft bread – it’s a heavenly mess.

Thank you Michelle, Michelangelo, and Terez for a wonderful morning in Valletta!

For more delicious recipes and kitchen inspiration, visit Volkswagen’s Pinterest community board Food Bloggers for Volkswagen.

My Maltese Winter Sandwich: Pomegranate Chicken , Red Coleslaw and Bacon

 

My Maltese Winter Sandwich: Pomegranate Chicken , Red Coleslaw and Bacon

My Maltese Winter Sandwich: Pomegranate Chicken, Red Coleslaw, Orange and Bacon

Makes 6 sandwiches

For the coleslaw

cored red cabbage, cut into thin strips, about 230g / 1/2 pound
fine sea salt
yoghurt 5-6 tablespoons
freshly squeezed orange juice
ground pepper

For the pomegranate syrup

pomegranate juice 180ml / 3/4 cup
granulated sugar 4 1/2 tablespoons

For the sandwich

olive oil
chicken breast 400g / 14 ounces
fine sea salt
ground pepper
bacon 6 slices
lettuce leaves 6
white buns (or ciabatta cut into buns), cut in half, 6
oranges, peeled and cut into filets, 1-2
the seeds of 1 pomegranate
green onions, the green part cut into thin slices, 1
freshly grated orange zest, about 1 tablespoon

For the coleslaw, in a large bowl, mix the cabbage and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and, using your fingers, rub the salt into the cabbage. Let it sit for about 15-20 minutes. Add the yoghurt and orange juice, mix well, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F.

For the pomegranate syrup, in a saucepan, bring the pomegranate juice and the sugar to the boil and cook over medium-high heat (it should bubble) for about 7 minutes or until it starts to thicken. Set the syrup aside.

In a heavy pan, heat a splash of olive oil over high heat and cook the chicken breast for a couple minutes on each side until golden, you might have to reduce the heat to medium-high. Season with salt and pepper to taste and transfer the chicken to a baking dish. Roast in the oven for about 8 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Check with a skewer, only clear juices should come out. Let the chicken rest in aluminium foil for about 5 minutes. Cut the chicken into slices (about 18 slices for 6 sandwiches).

In a large heavy pan, heat a splash of olive oil and cook the bacon for a few minutes on both sides until golden brown and crisp. Transfer to paper towels, let it cool for a few minutes, then break the bacon into pieces.

Divide the lettuce leaves between the bottoms of the buns and arrange the chicken on top, drizzle with a little of the pomegranate syrup. Spread a heaping tablespoon of coleslaw, 2-3 orange filets, and some pomegranate seeds on top of the chicken. Sprinkle with the sliced green onion, bacon bites, and orange zest, and drizzle with additional pomegranate syrup. Close the bun, squeeze, and enjoy!

My Maltese Winter Sandwich: Pomegranate Chicken , Red Coleslaw and Bacon

 

My Maltese Winter Sandwich: Pomegranate Chicken , Red Coleslaw and Bacon

 

My Maltese Winter Sandwich: Pomegranate Chicken , Red Coleslaw and Bacon

 

My Maltese Winter Sandwich: Pomegranate Chicken , Red Coleslaw and Bacon

 

My Maltese Winter Sandwich: Pomegranate Chicken , Red Coleslaw and Bacon-2

 

My Maltese Winter Sandwich: Pomegranate Chicken , Red Coleslaw and Bacon

 

chickenpomegranatecabbagesandwich9

Fennel Tomato Lasagna with Crunchy Bacon

Bacon Fennel Tomato Lasagna

A couple days ago, my boyfriend and I went to a meeting that finished much earlier than expected. We stepped out into the street on a cold and grey morning, looked at each other, and decided to squeeze in a quick coffee-date. Just the two of us, a black espresso for him, a creamy cappuccino for me, and a flaky chocolate croissant to share. We’re both a bit fed up with all the fancy cafés that sprout like weeds in our neighbourhood and always tend to look the same, no matter if you’re in Berlin, London, or New York. So, we went to our favourite Italian deli for a bit of dolce vita – sipping a fantastic coffee while listening to the patron chatting with his customers in Italian accompanied by a medley of Italian operas. A toddler giggled at us the whole time we sat on our wooden stools and two dogs observed the busy scene (which I usually don’t like in restaurants but they were too cute). The shelves around us presented a tempting selection of chiantis, pasta, polenta, capers, and bottarga. The counter right in front of us was filled with various prosciuttos, salami, ciabatta sandwiches, and homemade pasta treats. And right next to it, we could see scrumptious bowls of every antipasti one can possibly think of. Just the thought of it makes me hungry again.

This is the kind of scene that makes you want to go straight to your kitchen, open a bottle of wine, and start cooking. Italian of course. The weather doesn’t leave the slightest doubt that spring isn’t near yet, so a hearty lasagna is the best thing to have on your plate. Mine is filled with lots of juicy tomatoes, roasted fennel seeds, and the bulb thinly sliced and sautéed, plus crunchy bacon bites, dried chili peppers, a bit of parmesan, and a creamy béchamel sauce. At first, I wanted to combine the fennel with a meaty bolognese but then I remembered a pasta dish that I shared on the blog almost 2 years ago and that changed my mind. You could leave out the bacon, but I recommend you keep it – as long as you’re not a vegetarian. The fennel seeds roast in the meat’s salty juices and merge with the tinned tomatoes into a heavenly sauce. Layered with pasta sheets and the crisp fennel bulb, it’s just what I want on a cold day in February.

Bacon Fennel Tomato Lasagna

 

Bacon Fennel Tomato Lasagna

Fennel Tomato Lasagna with Crunchy Bacon

Serves 4 to 6

For the béchamel sauce

milk 700 ml / 3 cups
a pinch of nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
fine sea salt
ground pepper
unsalted butter 30g / 2 tablespoons
plain flour 30g / 4 tablespoons
large bay leaf 1

For the lasagna

butter, for the baking dish
olive oil
cored fennel bulb, thinly sliced lengthwise, 340g / 12 ounces
fine sea salt
black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar
thick-cut bacon, cut into very small cubes, 200g / 7 ounces
fennel seeds 2 tablespoons
garlic, crushed, 3 cloves
small dried chili peppers, 2
peeled whole tinned tomatoes, chopped, 1.2kg / 2 2/3 pounds
no-boil lasagna noodles, about 250g / 9 ounces
freshly grated Parmesan 100g / 3 1/2 ounces

For the béchamel sauce, combine the milk, nutmeg, and pinches of salt and pepper in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Immediately take the pan off the heat and set aside.

To make the roux for the béchamel, melt the butter in a clean medium saucepan over medium-high heat and as soon as it’s sizzling hot, whisk in the flour. Slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the roux and whisk until smooth. Add the bay leaf and simmer on low, whisking occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes or until the texture starts to thicken. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Season to taste with nutmeg, salt, and pepper then cover, and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F (conventional setting) and butter a 26 x 20 cm / 10 x 8″ baking dish (or a dish of roughly this size).

In a large, heavy pan, heat a generous splash of olive oil over medium-high heat and sauté the fennel slices in batches for about 1 minute per side or until golden and al dente. Spread out the fennel slices next to each other in the pan so that they cook evenly. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a plate.

Put the pan back on the heat and cook the bacon over medium-high heat for about 7-10 minutes or until golden brown and crunchy. Add a little oil if necessary and stir once in a while. Scrape the bacon to the sides of the pan, add a little olive oil (if the pan is too dry) and the fennel seeds, garlic, and chili. Turn the heat down to medium and cook for 2 minutes, mind that the seeds don’t turn too dark. Add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and, stirring occasionally, cook for about 10 minutes over medium-high heat or until thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Take the pan off the heat and set aside 3 tablespoons of the sauce (for the final layer of the lasagna).

Arrange a layer of pasta on the bottom of the buttered baking dish and spread with 1/3 of the tomato-bacon sauce and sprinkle with 1/4 of the béchamel. Top with 1/3 of the sautéed fennel and 1/4 of the Parmesan. Repeat to make 3 more layers, top the last layer with pasta. Sprinkle with the reserved 3 tablespoons of the tomato-bacon sauce and the remaining béchamel and Parmesan. Bake for 35-45 minutes (depending on the lasagna package instructions) or until the pasta is al dente. To brown the cheese a little, you can switch on the broiler for the last 1 to 2 minutes. Let the lasagna sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving and sprinkle with some crushed peppercorns. Enjoy!

Bacon Fennel Tomato Lasagna

 

Bacon Fennel Tomato Lasagna

 

Bacon Fennel Tomato Lasagna

 

baconfenneltomatolasagna8

 

baconfenneltomatolasagna10

 

Bacon Fennel Tomato Lasagna

My 501st post: Spicy Cumin Guacamole and Bacon Sandwich

Guacamole and Bacon Sandwich

500 posts (and even more recipes) on eat in my kitchen and I missed it! Sunday’s cinnamon peach cake was the big jubilee recipe and it would have been more than festive enough to raise a glass of champagne, but anyways, this chance is missed and over. So, today I celebrate the 501st post with a spicy guacamole bacon sandwich, refined with citrusy coriander and hot chili peppers. The meat’s smokey saltiness wonderfully breaks the velvety smoothness of the Mexican dip and makes it hearty and rich. I wanted to write about this creation much earlier but after July’s hot tempered discussion about a green pea guacamole recipe caused by Melissa Clark’s article in the New York Times, I lost interest and faith in further guacamole variations.

But this is in the past now, like all the 500 recipes that found their way from my humble kitchen in Berlin (and Malta) to so many people and other kitchens all over the world. How all of this could happen still amazes me. I just write about what happens on my cooker or in my oven and then it reaches whoever feels inspired by the title, the pictures or the story behind each post. In the past, before eat in my kitchen, I used to just cook or bake my recipes, sometimes just once but most of the time they became staples, dishes that always come back to my table. Obviously, the taste and look would vary slightly as no recipe is always the same. But now I can come here, like everybody else, and see the whole collection of meals that passed through our kitchen. This is really beautiful – and inspiring for myself as I tend to forget about recipes.

At the moment, I need all my time to write for my cookbook which is a totally different experience on another level. The web is digital, it changes constantly with a pace that can be intimidating at times but a printed book is unchangeable. I’ll be able to feel it in my hands when I thumb through the pages, to lay it on my kitchen table, and I like this feeling, it’s real. It’s as real as all the wonderful messages I’ve been receiving from you from the start, messages about all the recipes that inspired you or simply teased your appetite.

Thank you! xx

A note on the side: In my opinion, guacamole can easily take variations as any other dish – as long as it pleases the personal taste of the creator. This is part of our worldwide kitchen culture, it’s makes it richer every day, it evolves, changes and always finds its way back to its roots. It’s a gift that shows that a culture is alive, not a threat.

Guacamole and Bacon Sandwich

 

Guacamole and Bacon Sandwich

Spicy Cumin Guacamole and Bacon Sandwich

Makes 3 sandwiches

dark, rustic buns, cut in half, 3
breakfast bacon 6-9 slices
fresh red chili pepper, seeded and sliced, 1/4

For the guacamole

large ripe avocado 1 (or 2 small ones), the flesh scraped out
sour cream 2-3 heaped tablespoons
freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 tablespoon
fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped, 3 heaped tablespoons plus a few leaves for the topping
ground cumin, a pinch
fine sea salt
ground pepper

In a bowl, chop the avocado with a knife until chunky, stir in the sour cream, lemon juices, coriander, cumin, salt and pepper. Mix well, season to taste and set aside.

In a heavy pan, cook the bacon until crisp, transfer to kitchen paper to remove excess fat.

Spread the guacamole voluptuously on the bottom side of the buns, sprinkle with chili pepper and lay the bacon on top. Finish it off with a few coriander leaves, close the bun and enjoy!

Guacamole and Bacon Sandwich

 

Guacamole and Bacon Sandwich

 

cuminguacamolebaconsandwich12

 

cuminguacamolebaconsandwich8

Tarte Flambée – Alsatian Flammkuchen with Taleggio, Apples and Bacon

Flammkuchen

When I lived close to the French border a few years ago I loved to drive over to France on a Sunday morning for a short day trip to the Alsace region, especially at this time of the year! The vineyards were all red and golden and the first young wines were ready to be enjoyed. I mentioned these trips about a month ago when I wrote about my Zwiebelkuchen which I used to eat at the traditional restaurants in the small villages. Another Alsatian classic to accompany the new harvest is the Flammkuchen (Flammkueche in the Alsatian dialect), the famous Tarte Flambée! It’s similar to pizza but the dough is made with milk instead of water, it’s spread with a thin layer of sour cream mixed with an egg yolk and the result is crunchy and light. The basic version is made with onions and bacon but after years of visiting this region I started experimenting with the toppings in my own kitchen and here’s one of my favourites.

The combination of cheese and fruit works just as well as on a sandwich. I like to mix thin slices of sour apples like boscoop with a creamy Italian taleggio cheese from the Val Taleggio in the Lombardy region. I baked some thin slices of bacon on top of the Flammkuchen to bring in some smoky saltiness. It’s important to put them on top so that they become crispy and release their juices into the fruity cheese mixture.

Flammkuchen

 

Flammkuchen

Flammkuchen with Taleggio, Apples and Bacon

I bake my Flammkuchen and my pizza on a hot baking sheet which has a similar effect to a pizza stone. I preheat it on the bottom of the hot oven and turn it around to bake on the hot surface.

For 1 big Flammkuchen you need

plain flour 250g / 9 ounces
dry yeast 1 package (for 500g / 1 pound of flour)
salt 1/4 teaspoons
sugar 1/2 teaspoon
milk, lukewarm, 120ml / 4 ounces
olive oil 2 tablespoons

for the topping
sour cream 120g / 4.5 ounces
organic egg yolk 1
a pinch of salt
taleggio, cut into cubes, 80g / 3 ounces
sour apple (like boscoop), cored, quartered and cut into thin slices, 1/2 -1
thin bacon slices 6
pepper

In  a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Add the lukewarm milk and the olive oil and mix with your dough hooks for 5 minutes until well combined. Continue kneading with your hands for a few minutes until you have an elastic dough ball. Put the dough back into the bowl and cover with a tea towel. Let the dough rise in a 35°C / 95°F warm oven ( top / bottom heat, no fan!) for about 1 hour.

Take the dough out, punch it down and roll it out into a flat circle on a well floured surface. It should be a bit smaller than the size of your baking sheet. Cover with a tea towel and let it rise for another 10-15 minutes.

Set your oven to 260°C / 500°F. My oven has a special pizza setting but you can use top / bottom heat as well. Put the baking sheet on the bottom of your oven to heat it (for around 10 minutes).

Whisk the sour cream, egg yolk and a pinch of salt.

Take the hot baking sheet out of the oven, turn it around and place it carefully on two stable wooden boards or mats as it will be very hot. Quickly place your risen dough onto the baking sheet.

Spread a thin layer of the sour cream egg yolk mixture on top of the dough, you might not need all of it. Spread the apples and taleggio on top and season with pepper. Top with the bacon and bake in the hot oven for a few minutes until the Flammkuchen is golden brown and crisp.

Flammkuchen

 

Flammkuchen

 

Flammkuchen

 

Flammkuchen

Bean and Bacon Salad with White Balsamico and Lemon Thyme

Fava Bean, Bacon + Thyme Salad

There is something really satisfying about deglazing tiny, crunchy cubes of bacon with sweet Balsamico vinegar. Be it the white or the dark one, both coming from Modena, this vinegar merges with the oily bacon juices to a thick, sweet and sour syrup. It is very concentrated, a great dressing to glaze hearty and crunchy salads like beans and cabbage. A few spoons enrich the vegetables with the whole range of the vinegar’s aroma together with the meat’s smoky saltiness.

I like to use this dressing for my traditional Bavarian cabbage salad as it brings out a sweet smoothness in the strong cabbage. Today it refines my fava beans, crunchy and green, cooked in salted water for around 6 minutes until they were al dente and rinsed with cold water. I peeled the beans out of their transparent shells for this salad and added some lemon thyme, salt and pepper.

As always, there is lots of peeling involved when there are fava beans on the table, I had 130g / 4.5 ounces of peeled beans after I started with 700g / 1.5 pounds of the fleshy pods. It was enough for the 2 of us as a side dish. I fried 30g / 1 ounce of bacon cut into tiny cubes in a little olive oil for a few minutes until they were golden brown and crisp before I deglazed it with 25ml / 1 ounces of white Balamico vinegar. I scraped the bits and pieces off the bottom of the pan and poured the syrup and bacon over the beans immediately. It just needed a little salt as the bacon added quite a bit of saltiness to it, some ground black pepper and a few fresh leaves of my lemon thyme on top and the salad was done!

Fava Bean, Bacon + Thyme Salad

 

Fava Bean, Bacon + Thyme Salad

Rabbit wrapped in Sage and Bacon roast on Rhubarb

Rabbit wrapped in Sage + Bacon on Rhubarb

Sweet and sour rhubarb, salty bacon and aromatic sage wrap my juicy pieces of rabbit in a delicious composition of spring flavours. You could use pork fillet in this recipe as well but I like rabbit meat, it’s tenderness and unique taste. We often eat it when we’re in Malta where rabbit is so popular that it became the national dish. Be it as a Mediterranean stew with olives, tomatoes and wine, often cooked together with pork for a stronger aroma, or in a pie, I’ve enjoyed some of the best rabbit meals on this island!

Rabbit meat isn’t very challenging to cook as long as it’s kept moist and not overcooked. The little packages of sage and bacon in my recipe infuse the meat with their flavours but also keep it juicy. The steaming rhubarb roasting under the meat has the same effect. Its juices add a fruity taste to the meat and make sure that it doesn’t dry out while it’s cooking.

Rabbit wrapped in Sage + Bacon on Rhubarb

 

Rabbit wrapped in Sage + Bacon on Rhubarb

Rabbit wrapped in Sage and Bacon roast on Rhubarb

For 4 people you need

rabbit, without bones, 500g / 1 pound for 8 portions
(I bought rabbit back and legs, the fillets from the back were the easiest to prepare)
rhubarb, cut into 5cm / 2″ pieces, 500g / 1 pound
sugar 3 tablespoons
garlic, thinly sliced, 3 cloves
fresh sage 16 leaves
bacon 8 slices
white wine 75ml / 2.5 ounces
olive oil 2 tablespoons
salt and pepper

Set the oven to 210°C / 410°F. My oven has a Rotitherm roasting setting which works perfectly for this recipe.

Cover the bottom of a baking dish with the rhubarb mixed with sugar. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide the rabbit in 8 portions, season with salt and pepper and wrap each portion in a slice of bacon together with 2 leaves of sage and 3 slices of garlic. Place on top of the rhubarb and pour the wine and olive oil over it.

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, pouring some of the juices over it from time to time. For the last 3 minutes sprinkle the bacon with some sugar.

Rabbit wrapped in Sage + Bacon on Rhubarb

 

Rabbit wrapped in Sage + Bacon on Rhubarb

Chutney filled Dates wrapped in crisp Bacon

Dates wrapped in Bacon with Chutney

Devils on Horseback, dried fruit wrapped and baked in bacon, are a typical winter dish, but the temperature dropped, it’s a bit grey outside and I wanted to try something new with my chutney. It’s still a great finger food nibble, even in spring! After I made my rhubarb chutney I thought about new combinations besides the classics with cheese, meat or sandwiches. A package of dried dates caught my attention, I had bought them a couple weeks ago from a Turkish shop I discovered while strolling through the streets. I went inside to check out their meat section as you can get the best lamb from Turkish butchers but I was a bit late and the shop was closing. On my way to the cash point I grabbed a package of dates unsure of what I would use them for and hopped back out onto the busy streets.

The dates finally found their purpose, I filled them with chutney, wrapped them in slices of bacon and baked them in the oven. Sweet and sticky, salty and a bit sour, my chutney filled dates wrapped in crisp bacon! It sounds like an attack on the taste buds but it’s actually a very harmonic combination, all the flavours melt together smoothly. My rhubarb chutney hasn’t sat yet, I want to give it a couple more weeks, so I used my plum chutney (the same recipe, just with plums).

It’s very easy to prepare these nibbles, you just need a few dried dates (as a snack for 3 I used 15 dates) and replace their seeds with some chutney (the plum chutney was very good but I tried one with rhubarb and it was good too). I cut a strip of thinly sliced bacon into 3 and wrapped each piece around a filled dated. Baked in the oven on 200°C / 390°F they turned golden and crisp after a few minutes!

Dates wrapped in Bacon with Chutney

 

Dates wrapped in Bacon with Chutney

 

Dates wrapped in Bacon with Chutney

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