December 19, 2019

Bacon-Wrapped, Chorizo-Stuffed Dates

Recipe: Paul Kahan

Try this Bacon-Wrapped, Chorizo-Stuffed Dates recipe from the new cookbook, Cooking for Good Times.

I first had these dates when my wife Mary’s dad, Bob, brought them to one of the epic Christmas parties that we used to throw every year for the restaurants’ staffs (until we were going through about fourteen kegs of beer and staying up all night smoking and pulling twelve pork shoulders — then we called it quits). I knew from the moment I tasted one that there was a place on our menu for them. I kept bugging avec’s original chef, Koren Grieveson, during our first week, saying, “We gotta put these on, gotta put these on,” and her answer, every time, was “no.” Actually, it was expletive expletive… but she finally agreed and — with the addition of the piquillo-tomato sauce — the dates have been on offer at avec ever since. The recipe hasn’t changed at all in fifteen years. We’ve had the same guy makin’ ’em, too— Jorge Ruiz. From the very beginning he’s been cranking out more than three hundred a day, five days a week; that’s almost two million to date. He’s made nearly every stuffed date at the restaurant — no kidding. When he goes on vacation, he fills up the freezer with them because when someone covered for him once, people complained that the dates weren’t the same. He’s even developed his own chorizo blend that’s spicy enough to offset the sweetness of the dates. He throws in beef scraps, pork scraps, prosciutto scraps — whatever we have around. You get more bang for your buck that way and they taste better. I get the bug from time to time and say let’s just take them off — I’m tired of them — but there are some things you just can’t touch. People would riot.


  • 1 tbsp 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 plus juices
  • Kosher salt
  • 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.


Yield: Makes 8 servings

Make Sauce

  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallots and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the peppers and tomatoes, gently breaking up the tomatoes with a spoon, and bring to a simmer.
  2. Decrease the heat to low, and cook for 30 minutes, 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 & Cook Dates

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Stuff the dates with the chorizo, using about 1 tablespoon of 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 to 20 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.


  1. Spread the sauce over a serving plate and place the dates over the top. Serve warm.

Reprinted with permission from Cooking for Good Times by Paul Kahan, copyright (c) 2019. Published by Lorena Jones Books, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Photographs credit © Peden + Munk