While making Thanksgiving dinner a few years ago, I forgot all about the sweet potatoes roasting in the oven. When I opened the oven door 2 hours later, the potatoes were waaaaaay too soft to serve as they were. And I was loathe to add them to a casserole dish with a can of crushed pineapple and mini marshmallows like my mother had done for my entire childhood. So I looked in the fridge for some inspiration and there was a package of duck bacon staring right at me. The extra dates (after putting most of them in the stuffing) were right there on the counter. And pretty soon, my pantry staples were at hand and a new appetizer was born! They were such hit, they've become a regular addition to almost all the cocktail parties we've had since. —Jodi Taffel
large sweet potatoes
slices duck bacon
(1 stick) unsalted butter
light brown sugar
medjool dates, pitted
In This Recipe
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Poke sweet potatoes a few times with the tines of a fork. Then wrap in aluminum foil and bake 1 hour, or until soft and tender.
While potatoes bake, place duck bacon in a large skillet set over medium heat and cook until done, but not crunchy. When cool enough to touch, cut each slice into 4 evenly sized pieces.
Melt butter in a small saucepan set over medium heat.
Add brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger & salt. Whisk until sugar is completely dissolved.
Remove saucepan from heat and add the bourbon whiskey. With a stick lighter or match, light the liquid and allow the alcohol to burn off.
Remove from heat and set aside.
Remove potatoes from the oven and peel off the outer skin.
Place potatoes and chipotle salsa in a bowl and mash with a potato masher until smooth.
Add the contents of the saucepan and stir to thoroughly combine.
Place filled and topped dates on a parchment lined sheet pan, reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees, and bake dates 15 minutes.
Allow to cool slightly (4-5 minutes) before serving.