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Chorizo Stuffed Dates
Makes 8 servings
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1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
8 small shallots, thinly sliced
8 ounces (about 1 cup) roasted piquillo peppers with any jar juices, or any roasted red peppers plus juices*
2 cups whole peeled canned tomatoes
Freshly ground black pepper
16 Medjool dates, pitted
8 ounces fresh (uncured) chorizo sausage, casings removed**
8 slices bacon
*You can find jarred piquillo peppers in most grocery stores. If you can’t find them, substitute roasted red peppers.
**Make sure to buy uncured, fresh chorizo sausage for this, not the salami-like cured kind.
Make the Sauce
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallots and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the peppers and tomatoes, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 30 minutes to 1 hour, until the liquid in the sauce has mostly evaporated. Season with salt and pepper.
Let the sauce cool slightly, then transfer it to a blender and blend until smooth. Thin with warm water, if necessary. You want it to be thick but not so thick that it mounds on the plate.
Prep and Cook the Dates
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Stuff the dates with the chorizo, using about 11/2 teaspoonsof chorizo per date. Cut the bacon slices in half lengthwise and wrap a slice around each date. Arrange the dates on a small baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, or until the chorizo is cooked through.
Preheat the broiler. Broil the dates for 2 to 4 minutes, until the bacon is dark brown and crisp.
Spread the sauce over a serving plate and place the dates over the top. Serve warm.