Photo by Flickr user Bing
The sweet, salty contrast of fruit, bacon, and nuts is an irresistible combination, especially when the almonds are smoked.
Step 1: Stuff each date with an almond. Gently pull on the ends of each strip of bacon to stretch it, then cut it cross- wise into thirds (each piece should be just large enough to wrap around a date). Wrap each stuffed date with a piece of bacon, securing it crosswise on the end of a skewer. The recipe can be prepared up to 8 hours ahead to this stage; cover the bacon-wrapped dates with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Step 2: Set up the grill for direct grilling using a three-zone fire and preheat one zone to high and one zone to medium; leave the third zone unlit.
Step 3: When ready to cook, brush and
oil the grill grate. Tear off a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil that is roughly as long as the grill is wide. Fold the piece of aluminum foil in half lengthwise. Place the folded aluminum foil flat on the grate at the edge closest to you so that it covers part of each heat zone.
Step 4: Arrange the skewered dates on the grate so that they are over the high zone but the exposed ends of the skewers are on top of the foil shield to keep them from burning. Depending upon the size of the grill, you may need to cook the dates in batches. Grill the dates until they are heated through and the bacon is crisp, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Be ready to move the dates to the medium or cool zone of the grill should the dripping bacon fat cause flare-ups. Transfer the grilled dates to a platter and serve immediately.
Prunes wrapped in bacon or prosciutto and grilled make an equally tasty appetizer.