Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Little Appetizer

Looking through my refrigerator and cabinets with only thirty minutes until my friends arrived, here's what I came up with!

Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates with Rosemary Balsamic Reduction

50 Large Dried Organic Pitted Dates

4 oz Goat Cheese, room temperature

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 large or 2 small rosemary sprigs

Set a 1-quart saucepan over medium heat and add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the shallots to the pan and sweat until translucent, about 1 minute. Add the garlic to the pan and sweat for 30 seconds. Pour the balsamic vinegar into the pan and bring to a boil. Add the rosemary and allow the balsamic to gently boil and reduce until only about 1/4 cup of balsamic remains, about 10 minutes. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Remove from the heat. Remove the rosemary sprigs before using.

-Place dates on large platter or cookie sheet.
-Fill a medium size tipped pastry bag with soft goat cheese.
-Place tip of bag into each date and fill until goat cheese starts to peek through the other end of the date.
-Once all dates are filled, lightly drizzle balsamic reduction over the top.
*tip: use a large spoon to easily drizzle the reduction.

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