The classic Christmas canapé devils on horseback get a sophisticated upgrade in this recipe from Lucy Brazier and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s new book ‘Christmas at River Cottage‘
IMAGE: CHARLOTTE BLAND
Just like their cousin, the devil on horseback, this hot canapé is an absolute crowd pleaser. I have made so many, so often, that I could make them in my sleep. My eldest son, Rafferty, hovers in the kitchen when he knows they are about to come out of the oven. I don’t just make them at Christmas but they do have a wonderfully festive air about them. Aim for three or four per person, depending on what other canapés you are serving.
Date, Goat’s Cheese & Bacon Devils
- 24 organic large dates
- 200 g soft goats cheese
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon or orange
- 24 small sprigs of rosemary (5–10cm)
- 12 rashers of good-quality streaky bacon
- Sea salt and black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. Make a slit along the side of each date and extract the stone. Set the dates aside.
- For the filling, in a bowl, mix the soft goat’s cheese with the citrus zest and season generously with salt and pepper.
- Trim the leaves from one end of each rosemary sprig, roughly to halfway along, to make sticks. Cut the streaky bacon rashers across in half.
- Spoon a generous teaspoonful of goat’s cheese into each date cavity. Wrap a piece of bacon around each date and secure with a rosemary stick. Place on a non-stick (or foil-lined) baking tray.
- Bake the stuffed dates in the oven for 20 minutes or until the bacon is cooked as you like it. Transfer to a plate and serve still warm… although they are delicious cold too.
Recipes from Christmas at River Cottage by Lucy Brazier (Bloomsbury, £22) Photography © Charlotte Bland
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