Anyways, as I was searching around for more Halloween-themed appetizer recipes, I came across an appetizer called "Devils on Horseback." When I clicked on the description and saw dates (or prunes), prosciutto (or bacon), and some sort of stuffing (cheese, almonds, or chutney)...I realized I've indeed had these delicious treats, I had just never heard the name before. (And two "D's"...perfect for "D" week! Sold).
I was actually interested in where this name came from, so I did a little research for you. From what I can tell, it is a play on another appetizer called "Angels on Horseback" which are bacon-wrapped oysters. Substituting dried fruit is the less expensive and darker alternative. (I also found a hilarious entry on Factopedia, claiming the name came from medieval soldiers using bacon as armor. I laughed out loud when I read that one.)
Anyways...onto the little devils.
An easy way to fancy these up is a balsamic glaze. All you need to do is combine vinegar, brown sugar, and soy sauce in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thick and syrupy, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. (You can transfer to a squeeze bottle for easier drizzling).
While that is reducing, cut each piece of prosciutto in half lengthwise and then again the other way so you have 4 small strips. Stuff each date with an almond, and roll up in a strip of prosciutto. I would suggest smoked almonds, though I found these garlic roasted almonds at Rainbow Grocery, and they were perfect.
Mix softened butter and maple syrup. Place dates on a parchment-lined baking sheet seam side down and brush with a little bit of the maple butter (this will help caramelize and crisp the prosciutto). Bake for 15-20 minutes at 375.
Drizzle platter with balsamic glaze, arrange dates on top, pierce with cocktail toothpicks, and serve! (Note: I probably should've waited a little longer before drizzling, as syrup hadn't completely set up yet and it was still a little runny. I used it again later on caprese salads, and it was perfect consistency).
For a great wine pairing for this appetizer...head over to my friend Kim's wine blog to see what she chose to complement them.
Prosciutto Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Almonds
(aka Devils on Horseback)
- 24 pitted dates
- 24 almonds
- 24 toothpicks, soaked in water
- 6 slices of prosciutto
- 1 c. balsamic vinegar
- 2 T. brown sugar or muscovado
- 1 T. soy sauce or Tamari (for gluten free)
- 2 T. softened butter
- 1 tsp. maple syrup
- Combine vinegar, brown sugar, and soy sauce in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thick and syrupy, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
- While vinegar is reducing, cut each piece of prosciutto into 4 strips. Stuff each date with an almond, and roll up in a strip of prosciutto.
- Mix softened butter and maple syrup. Place dates seam-side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and brush with maple butter. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 375.
- Drizzle platter with balsamic glaze (condiment squeeze bottle works great for this). Arrange dates on top, pierce with cocktail toothpicks and serve!