June 2, 2011

Bacon Wrapped Chorizo Stuffed Dates

One of my favorite shows on Food Network is "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" . Each episode they have a different theme like fried food or brunch or frozen..you get my drift. Well known chefs are interviewed about their favorite food from that theme and then they tell you all about the restaurant that serves it. So I just saw an episode about the best thing I ever ate "in a bowl". Chef Chris Cosentino from "Chefs vs City" was interviewed about a Chorizo Stuffed Date dish that he loved. So of course, I had to create my own version. Anything with chorizo has to be good!

Ingredients:
2 links of chorizo sausage, casing removed
1 roasted red pepper, diced
2 cups of crushed roasted tomatoes or tomato sauce
8 slices of bacon
20-24 large dates, split open
garlic salt, salt, and pepper to taste

Crumble the chorizo and cook in a greased skillet until golden.
Remove to a papertowel lined plate and reserve one tablespoon on drippings.
Spicy chorizo is a favorite of mine!
Dice one roasted red pepper. 
Add crushed tomatoes and red pepper 
to a saucepan and cook over medium.
 Season with salt, pepper, and garlic salt.
Pour one tablespoon of the chorizo drippings into the tomatoes.
Meanwhile, cook bacon until about halfway cooked.
You want it still pliable not crispy.
Split each date open and stuff with chorizo.
Using kitchen shears cut each bacon slice in thirds.
Wrap the bacon around the stuffed dates and secure with a toothpick.
Using a blender or food processor blend the tomatoes
until creamy and no chunks remain.
Delicious!
You can either spoon the sauce into individual ramekins or until a larger baking dish.
Place dates on top of sauce.
Bake for about 20 minutes at 375 degrees until sauce is bubbily and the bacon is crispy.
I also like to bake a fresh loaf of French bread and serve the dates
with sliced bread on the side.
Bacon Wrapped Chorizo Stuffed Dates in a Roasted Tomato Sauce.

Happy Cooking
~Nicole


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May 31, 2011

Visit Home & Trip to Joe Patti's Seafood Market in Pensacola

I took a quick trip home to Northwest Florida earlier this month to see my family:
 Mom, Dad, and Gma!
Day at the spa with Mom and Gma!
Delicious lunch with my best friend, Connie at Dharma Blue.
Enjoying our Melting Pot Fondue Dinner in Destin. 
(I was a finalist and won a free dinner in the Fondue Fanatic Video Contest-watch my video below)


 Sunday it was time to head over to Pensacola to our favorite spot: Joe Patti's Seafood!
Seriously if you are a food lover and are ever in the area you MUST stop here.
This place has been in business since the 1930s and is world famous.
Everytime I visit I bring a cooler so I can load up on fresh Florida seafood!
 
They have their own fishing fleet. When they say "freshly caught locally", they mean it!
This place is always packed. But don't worry they have
 over 100 employees so you never have to wait long!
Oh yeah my fave- lobster! 

Freezers stocked with everything from Turducken to Alligator Sirloin to Fresh Made Linguini! 
 Cheese? Yes, please!
 Foodie Central...literally anything you need, they have it!
Dad with his shrimp! 
 Gma and Mom love the unique sauces!
 Every sauce, soup, and breading mix known to man!
 Olive oil central. 
 Gourmet meats and cheeses.
 Dad and I usually camp out at the garlic section and sample their
 amazing roasted garlic and fresh baked bread!

 Yes, they have Gelato too!
 Dessert central.
Warning: do not go here hungry! You will buy everything!
(I know this from experience!)

 Joe Patti's own seasonings, hushpuppy mix, and soup.
Of course, they have a sushi bar! A dang good one too!
Yes, my friends this is the sushi menu!
 
The Volcano Roll was one of the best I've ever had! (sorry Harbor Docks!)

 
The Volcano Roll is topped with crab and scallops and spicy mayo. A-MAZING!
 Crabs just waitin' to be eatin'! 
 Choose how you want your fish prepared.
 Dad checking out the selection!  
 Local beef.
 The best Tuna around. I took home a filet, crusted it in sesame seeds,
and seared it in a cast iron pan.
Serve with soy sauce and it's a great appetizer!  
Our Joe Patti's purchases included:
  1. Almond Meal
  2. Soft Shell Crabs
  3. Grouper Cheeks
  4. Royal Red Shrimp
  5. Ahi Tuna Filets
  6. Sushi 
Time to make Fried Soft Shell Crabs!
Dip cleaned crabs in egg then seasoned bread crumbs.
Place in a deep skillet with hot Canola oil.
Fry until crispy and golden brown.
Serve alone with a remoulade or on a toasted sandwich!
 

Happy Cooking!
~Nicole

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