I like surprises: birthday gifts, parties, weather, babies, and puppies – pretty much any surprise where fun is involved! With food I find it funny when things are stuffed in things. Pickles and pimentos, stuffed peppers, stuffed tomatoes, stuffed shells, even burritos and spring rolls! When I found organic dates in the bulk section the other day I brought some home and wondered what to do with them. After taking out the pit and seeing that perfect hole in the middle I knew I had to stuff them! But with what?
Here’s where I started, inventing a new way (for me anyway) to remove the pit.
I cut across one end to remove the top. I could see the top of the pit, but couldn’t grab it with anything and using my teeth would just be a little gross if I were to share these with anyone :)
I retrieved my tweezers from my bathroom (is that worse than using my teeth) and promptly sanitized them. I stuck the tip of the tweezers into the tip of the date and pulled the pit right out! Easy, peasy! I now have a need for a dedicated pair of tweezers in my kitchen!! Turns out kitchen tweezers have already been invented, but had I seen them over at Bed, Bath, and Whatever before this occasion I would have laughed at the idea!
I started with vegan chocolate chips and moved on from there. This was the prefect project for my son to help with – he can eat the chocolate chips that fall on the floor and he’s good at stuffing things in things.
Of course you can stuff whatever you want in the dates. My next idea was raspberry jam. Then I did raspberry jam AND chocolate chips.
I had an old baby feeding syringe in the drawer and spooned some jam into it. This might be a great halloween “bloody syringe” too! You can pick up a free baby feeding syringe at most pharmacies.
Place the stuffed dates in a dry pan and heat over medium heat. I flipped them after about 3 minutes – the dates started making a quiet sizzling sound. If the pan gets too hot you can add a tiny bit of water. Then I kept the dates in the pan for another 1-2 minutes.
Dessert is ready! Be careful to not eat them immediately and scald yourself with molten chocolate – let cool for a few minutes :)
Speaking of stuffed food, I have a strange respect for the “Turducken,” not for the dead meat, but for the hilarious (except for the dead animals) concept of stuffing a duck inside a chicken inside a turkey. In the UK they have something called the “Royal Roast,” which is a pigeon stuffed with sausage, stuffed into a pheasant, into a chicken, into a turkey, and all put into a goose! Whew. No, I wouldn’t touch it with a 10 foot pole, but it’s creative and unexpected.
What if I stuffed a pimento into an olive and stuffed it into a date? My next thoughts are to create a hilarious vegan style Turducken. Any ideas??
Other ideas I’ve been pondering for these dates: vegan cream cheese would be good, other vegan cheeses, fake bacon, or almonds. What would you stuff dates with?