Having spent most of my life around food, and always dabbling in the kitchen, my “simple decadence” repertoire has grown worthy of cataloging. The “simple” part refers to ingredients that need little or no prep. The “decadence” part is self-explanatory. Let me offer you an excerpt from the catalog— a not-so-secret recipe for a quick, luxurious snack, prepared with your fingers and one small, sharp knife right at the table.
The hardest part about creating Spanish Wrapped Dates is compiling the 4 specialty ingredients, but being in NYC solves that issue. I gathered my components at Murray’s Cheese Shop (with locations on Bleecker Street and in Grand Central Market), but your local specialty grocer/cheese shop might also do the trick. Once you return home with your bounty, you will be minutes away from devouring a sweet, salty, savory, tender, crunchy delight made from ingredients that, despite their fat content, are healthful and natural!
Spanish Wrapped Dates:
1/3 lb Jamon Serrano, sliced thinly
1/3 lb hunk of Spanish Blue Cheese (Valdeon or Cabrales)
1 small container Marcona Almonds (dry, or in oil)
1 small container Organic Dried Dates
Slice open one side of a date lengthwise, remove and discard the pit. Spread a generous lump of the blue cheese into the cavity. Parallel-park 2 almonds into the blue cheese. Carefully re-close the date around its new contents. Wrap the date in a slice of Serrano ham. Slice the date in half widthwise (between the 2 almonds), pop one half into your mouth, and enjoy a textural/flavorful explosion! Prepare the rest of the Wrapped Dates to order. They’re great as hors d’oeuvres, and pair wonderfully with medium or cream Sherry. For an extra layer of decadence, pop the finished date into the microwave for 10 seconds.