Chèvre-Stuffed Dates with Pomegranate Molasses and Chili Oil
By Jerry James Stone, Planet Green
This recipe was created by Kevin Schuder, Executive Chef at Yield Wine Bar, to pair with a bottle of Ancient Vine Mourvèdre from our featured green wine maker Cline Cellars. The Mourvèdre is a beautiful dance between black cherries, plum and roasted cocoa beans with a hint of eucalyptus. Yes, eucalyptus! While the wine would pair nicely with any bittersweet chocolate from your candy stash, where is the fun in that?
Kevin suggests “Try a dish that adds a few complimentary notes such as these chèvre-stuffed dates. This Mourvèdre is rich and slightly sweet… almost what a ruby port should taste like. The subtle-sweetness was nice, but it also had some tannins to back it up, so it wasn’t cloying. I loved it on its own, but I also thought this recipe would mirror the sweetness and the fruit with the dates and the pomegranate molasses, and that the chèvre and the chili oil would add a creamy-grassy richness and add a bit of spice.”
“I like a red wine based on the balance between its tannins, acidity, alcohol, and body. The structure is what hooks me. This Cline Mourvèdre however, is very interesting for its pronounced chocolate flavor. The structure is good too, but chocolate? I loved it,” notes Schuder.
(Photos by: Kevin Schuder)
Fresh chèvre (creamier varieties work better than the crumbly varieties)
Beaten egg whites
Chili oil (recipe on next page)
Cut chives or thinly-sliced scallions (cut on a long diagonal)
“I love dishes where the line between savory and sweet are blurred, and this is a good example,” says Schuder.
Pomegranate molasses (or pomegranate concentrate) can be found at Middle-Eastern grocery stores. It also makes a great syrup for pancakes! You can find the chili oil in many grocery stores but you may want to make your own. See below for how. Also, the chèvre-stuffed dates will keep for a week in the refrigerator and are very easy to warm and serve.
1. Slice the dates almost completely in half, removing the pits.
2. Stuff the dates with chèvre, using your fingers to smooth and compact it.
3. Line a sheetpan with the parchment paper.
4. Fill one bowl with flour and another with the beaten egg whites.
5. Toss several of the stuffed dates into the flour to coat.
6. Shake off the excess by rolling in your hand, two at a time, think Boading balls.
7. Then toss into the egg whites.
8. When there are several dates in the egg whites, mix them to coat.
9. Shake off the excess, placing them onto the parchment lined sheet pan.
It is easiest if you use one hand for the flour and the other for the egg.
10. Bake on a parchment paper lined pan at 350 degrees until egg solidifies and turns a slight golden color.
11. You may need to rotate the pan halfway through baking for an even color.
12. Don’t over bake them. The chèvre will ooze out of the date.
Let them cool completely if you plan to store them (store them stacked and separated by the parchment paper)
1. Add a tablespoon of chili powder to a cup of canola (or grapeseed)
2. Warm in a saucepan over low heat for a few minutes
Using a paintbrush, apply a couple of brushstrokes of the pomegranate molasses to the plate while the dates warm in the oven. Lay them over the pomegranate, and then drizzle a couple quick lines of chili oil (shake well before using) over the dates. Top the dates a garnish of cut chives or scallions.
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