Friday, January 1, 2010

Devils On Horseback Appetizer and Our New Years Party

Well, the title of this blog is not actually accurate. I don't know if Jeremy and me hanging out at Brian and Danielle's house for 3 hours eating food on New Years Eve qualifies as a party. Although Danielle's sister Natalie and her boyfriend Jake were there for a bit, so then again maybe it was. Anyhow, we sat around and ate the night away, mostly. Drinking on the other hand, not so much. Jeremy and I have been on a health kick with it being the new year and all and have not been doing much drinking lately. So when Brian asked Jeremy how much champagne he should pick up and Jeremy replied "I'm only having a sip" Brian took that to mean 1 bottle would probably be sufficient. Danielle on the other hand who happened to be doing some dishes when we walked in almost sprayed Jeremy with the faucet hose for being such a kill joy. We might have started the night off on the wrong foot (and ended it that way, with being in bed by 10pm, ringing in the new year and the start of the new millennium for that matter, asleep) but in-between those two events at least the food was fabulous! Danielle and I had decided to serve appetizers instead of a main course and we divided the prep. Danielle was in charge of these delightful little bites that don't even really have a name, although Katie Lee, formally Katie Lee Joel, makes a version like Danielle's called "devils on horseback". Whatever they are, they are divine! More about them in a minute. She also made shrimp cocktail complete with homemade cocktail sauce and a cheese platter. For my part I was making crostini with goat cheese, roasted red peppers, drizzled with truffle honey that I had bought at The Homesteader a couple days before, Tzatziki dip with toasted pita triangles and carrot sticks and herb stuffed mushrooms. The stuffed mushrooms were a bit bland in my opinion, I'm sorry to report, despite my attempts to make them quirky and memorable. I sauteed the chopped stems in butter, added salt, pepper, mined garlic and thyme and added some white wine. Then I took it off the heat and added some Italian bread crumbs, chopped parsley and mint, slivered almonds and very finely chopped golden raisins, a bit more olive oil and showered it with parmesan cheese, filled the caps, drizzled them with olive oil and baked at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. Now, I'm sure you know that the mint, almonds and raisins are NOT common ingredients to stuff in a mushroom. However, that was my attempt at making them special. I thought the chewy tangy sweet of the raisin would be interesting along with the herbs and that the almond would give it texture and a bit if a soft crunch. Well it might have worked it different quantities, but it fell flat. Boooooring. But, all that interesting, exotic food texture, chewiness and crunch I didn't find in my mushrooms I found in Danielle's little "devils on horseback" appetizer. They are basically and almond wrapped in a dried apricot, wrapped in bacon and served with a apricot soy chutney of sorts. It's that classic sweet and salty that gets you at first and the chewiness of the apricot and the crunch of both the bacon and the almond dipped in the sweet and sour sauce that brings it home. Here is the recipe:

Devils on Horseback Appetizer

30 dried apricots
30 whole almonds
15 pieces of raw bacon
1 cup apricot preserves
5-6 Tablespoons soy sauce

Cut each bacon slice in half crosswise and set aside. Roll over the dried apricots with a rolling pin in an attempt to make them a bit thinner and bigger (better to fully wrap the almond) then place an almond in the center of each apricot and one by one, wrap the apricot around the almond and the half a piece of bacon around the apricot. Place the finished bite seam side down so the bacon doesn't unravel on a baking tray and continue until all pieces are done. Bake the tray at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until the bacon is crisp and cooked through. Meanwhile, heat the apricot preserves in a sauce pan over medium low heat, add the soy sauce and heat until hot and well combined. You can more or less of the soy sauce depending on your taste. Serve everything warm

These really are a crowd pleaser. 30 pieces will serve about 8 people for an appetizer. The rule of thumb is 3-4 pieces of any given appetizer per person if you are having 5-6 different apps.

Happy New Year everyone!


  1. I finally remembered my Google Sign-In! Yes, Stuffed Mushrooms can be boring. I made some with goat cheese thinking the pungent taste of the cheese would stand out but they, too, were boring. I do have a recipe for Crab Stuffed Mushrooms that are always a hit! The secret ingredient? Horseradish! I also have a recipe for Devils on Horseback that uses dates, bacon and Stilton Cheese. Yummy. Love your food blog! Hope we have the Oscar party - I am so excited!

  2. Oh Angie, I would LOVE your recipe for crab stuffed mushrooms! We will indeed have an Oscar party. Nothing can hold us back!