Chorizo-Stuffed Medjool Dates with Piquillo Pepper and Tomato Sauce
(serves 8 tapas style)
290g-350g (16) Medjool dates (cut in half length-wise, remove stone)
1 chorizo (cut into 4cm x 1 cm batons)
8 rashers rindless middle bacon
Piquillo Pepper Tomato Sauce
Preheat oven to 180°C
Open up dates, place one chorizo baton into each date and close date around baton.
Cut bacon into sixteen 7cm-9cm lengths or long enough to wrap around dates. Wrap strip of bacon around each date.
Divide Piquillo Pepper Tomato Sauce evenly into 8 Spanish tapas dishes or equivalent. (We use 11.5cm diameter tapas dishes.) Place 2 prepared dates, seam-side down, into each dish, making sure the sauce comes halfway up the side of each date.
Place into preheated oven and cook for 20-25 minutes or until bacon is golden and crispy and sauce is bubbling. Remove from oven and serve with a fork.
Piquillo Pepper and Tomato Sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion (finely diced)
2 garlic cloves (crushed)
400g canned crushed or diced tomatoes in their juice
½ teaspoon sweet smoked Spanish paprika
75g (3-4) piquillo peppers (drained) (available in jars in speciality section of supermarkets)
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
grind freshly ground black pepper
Pour oil into a small heavy-based saucepan set over medium heat. Heat until hot and add onion. Reduce temperature to low and cook for 4-5 minutes or until soft. Avoid browning.
Add garlic and cook for a further 1-2 minutes.
Add tomatoes, paprika, piquillo peppers, sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until sauce is thick. (A larger quantity will take longer to cook.)
Remove from heat; pour into a food processor fitted with a metal blade and puree until smooth.
Set aside to serve with Chorizo-Stuffed Medjool Dates.