Bacon Manchego Dates
12 dried dates, preferably Medjool
2 ounces Manchego cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
6 slices of thin or medium thickness bacon, cut in half
Preheat broiler. Make a slit in the side of each date and remove the pit. Place a piece of cheese in the cavity of each date and wrap each date with a piece of bacon.
Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
24 stalks of asparagus, trimmed
4 slices prosciutto
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 lemon quartered
Preheat oven to 425°
Cover asparagus with water in a large, deep skillet and bring to a boil. Cook just until tender, 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer asparagus to a bowl of ice water until chilled to stop the cooking; drain well.
Divide asparagus into 4 piles, wrapping each with a slice of prosciutto around the center to form a bundle. Transfer to a baking sheet, season with pepper and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano. Roast until cheese is golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to plates and serve with lemon wedges on the side.
Sausage stuffed Mushrooms
16 large stuffing mushrooms
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, minced
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped almonds
1/4 cup mirin (cooking wine made from sweet rice)
2 tablespoons tamari
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup pork sausage
Rinse mushrooms and remove stems. Dice stems and set aside. Heat oil in a skillet; sauté onions sausage and diced mushrooms stems until very soft. Combine mirin, tamari and lemon juice. Add bread crumbs, almonds and half of marinade to onions and mushrooms. Cook over medium heat until liquid is absorbed by the bread crumbs. Place mushroom caps, round side up, in a baking dish. Pour remaining marinade over the mushroom caps, fill with bread crumb mixture, and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes or until browned.