Easy holiday appetizers that are party perfect

Bacon-wrapped dates can even be considered make ahead appetizers
CHICAGO (WLS) -- A new tapas restaurant is now open in River North.

Chef Eric Jorgenson with Lil Ba Ba Reeba is sharing tips and tricks for holiday appetizer recipes to impress guests and enjoy the holiday parties with easy prep.

Bacon-Wrapped Dates

Serves 3-4 people

  • 12 medjool dates, pitted

  • 6 bacon slices, medium cut, applewood smoked

  • 12 unwrapped wooden toothpicks (no frills)

  • Method:
    1. Optional: Preheat oven to 450F (see step No. 5 below).
    2. Pit the dates if they aren't already: Slice lengthwise letting the knife hit the pit (i.e., don't slice all the way through, then pry sides open and push pit upwards and out.

    3. Cut each bacon slice in half and wrap around each date.
    4. With the flap end at the top, insert toothpick to ensure it doesn't unravel.
    5. Deep-fry the Bacon-Wrapped Dates at 350F for one to two minutes, until bacon starts to crisp. Or, roast in 450F oven for six to eight minutes, until bacon starts to crisp.

    Apple Cider Vinaigrette

    Serves 3 cups (more than you'll need); preserves well for seven days

  • 64 fl oz of good quality apple cider

  • 6 ounces white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar

  • 1 cup blended oil (80% canola oil, 20% olive oil) (80%/20% Canola/Olive Oil)

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 0.5 teaspoon ground white pepper

  • Method:
    1. Bring apple cider to a boil and reduce to 1 cup, then allow to cool.
    2. Combine cider reduction, vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk to combine.
    3. While whisking, slowly mix in oil to create emulsion. Taste and adjust salt if needed.
    4. Garnish dates with apple cider vinaigrette, large diced apple pieces and chopped parsley
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