Monday, December 30, 2013

Kelley's Favorite Shallot Vinaigrette

Makes 1 cup


1/4 cup white wine vinegar, champagne vinegar, or aged sherry wine vinegar
2 to 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely minced shallots
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper to taste. Stir in the shallots. Gradually whisk in the oil to make a smooth dressing. Use immediately or store covered, in the refrigerator, for up to a week.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Bacon Wrapped Dates

This is a really yummy warm appetizer that can be made hours before a party and held in the fridge until 30 minutes before the guests are expected to arrive, when you can pull them and bake them. It is also dairy-free, making it perfect if you have family or friends that can't have milk or cheese. The bacon makes these so decadent, no one will miss the cheese!  These can also be frozen after being assembled (but not baked) for up to one month and popped in a hot oven.


32 good-quality dates (about 10 ounces; I like Medjool dates) - pits removed (I usually do this myself)
2 ounces shelled, salted whole pistachios
16 dried apricots, cut in half
1 pound lean best-quality bacon (I use a center-cut bacon), each piece sliced length-wise


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Stuff each date with 3 or 4 pistachios. Lay a stuffed date and apricot strip on top of each bacon slice; wrap to enclose. If not using immediately, freeze up to 1 month.

Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Bake until bacon is crisp; 20-30 minutes, flipping each wrapped date 1/2 way through.  Serve with toothpicks.

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