Chorizo Stuffed Dates Appetizer

Recipe by Diane Strauss for the CelebrEATy Circle — this is insanely great appetizer!   An explosion of sweet, salty, cheezy, spicy in your mouth….you have got to make this!
Chorizo Stuffed Dates Appetizer
By: Diane Strauss, (Una Mamacitas)
Makes 24 (plus) appetizers

Ingredients:
12 large pitted dates cut in half lengthwise
1/2 lb of Dos Mamacitas Chorizo (made with 100% humanely raised veal)
1/2 small package (2 oz) or ¼ cup of soft room temperature goat cheese
12 slices of bacon cut in half
Wooden toothpicks

Method for Chorizo Filling:
Warm small sauté pan over medium heat.
Add chorizo and break apart with spatula, sauté until browned and cooked through.
Using a slotted spoon, remove chorizo from pan and place in a bowl.
Let chorizo cool slightly.
Mix sautéed chorizo into soft goat cheese.

Method for Assembling Appetizers:
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
Fill each half of date with chorizo goat cheese mixture, mounding the filling on top of the date.
Wrap each filled date with a half slice of bacon, and secure it with wooden toothpick.
Place on sheet pan.
Bake in oven until bacon is brown and crispy.   Turn over when top is brown.  Serve hot or at room temperature.  Appetizers may be accompanied with sriracha aioli sauce or chimi churi sauce for dipping, but not necessary.  These stuffed dates taste fantastic all by themselves as well.

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