Bacon wrapped Dates with Blue Cheese & Almonds

‘Tis the season for the indulgence and the time of the year where you can have all the naughty foods and truly enjoy those deep and rich flavours. These small bites of pure heaven are the perfect festive snack or starter and a real treat.
For this recipe smoked bacon was the port of call for me as it provides a more balanced sweet and savoury contrast. However, they are just as delicious using unsmoked.

12 dates

Ingredients:

  • 12 medjool dates
  • 6 bacon rashers
  • Flaked almonds
  • Stilton blue cheese
  • Golden syrup

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5 or 170 fan and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  2. Cut the dates lengthwise (not all the way through) and remove the stones.
  3. Take around a 1/4 teaspoon of cheese and stuff the dates. Then take 2-3 almond flakes and place inside too.
  4. Cut the bacon rasher in half and wrap around the date. Make sure to keep the wrap around part of the meat at the bottom so that it won’t fall apart when cooking. Place each date on the baking tray.
  5. Drizzle over a small amount of golden syrup and place in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes or until the bacon is golden and crispy.

Enjoy! 🙂

Artichoke Soup

Artichokes are just the absolute best vegetables! Definitely one in my top 5 and truly wish that it was more accessible. Having said that, finding tinned artichoke hearts aren’t as difficult to find and not too extortionately priced; another delicious staple to add to your pantry. This soup is just, next level easy, tasty and suitable for vegetarians and vegans too! Personally, I prefer the chicken stock and cream as it just makes the soup taste that little bit more indulgent but it is equally delicious using the vegetable stock.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 400g can artichoke hearts, drained
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 small shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 400 ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Single cream (optional)

Method:

  1. On medium heat, fry the shallot and garlic together until blistered and lightly coloured.
  2. Add the artichoke, season with salt and pepper and fry for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Pour in the stock and leave to cook gently for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend until smooth. Upon serving drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil or some single cream for added indulgence (optional).