Until a few months ago, I had never heard of Devils on Horseback (bacon-wrapped stuffed dates). I have no idea how they evaded my radar for so long, because all it took was one sinful bite of this British pub dish at a local restaurant this past fall to be hooked! In the recipe I’m sharing today, plump Medjool dates are stuffed with piquant blue cheese, wrapped in smoky bacon, and baked until crisp. For a fun twist, I glaze the bacon with maple syrup and Sriracha, giving each bite a little extra caramelization and a light kick at the finish. Maple Sriracha Devils on Horseback are the perfect sweet-savory snack for game watching this weekend!
From what I’ve been reading, Devils on Horseback have been around for years in various incarnations, though it appears they had a renaissance back in the 70’s. Some recipes use Armagnac-soaked prunes instead of dates, while others stuff with almonds or chutney instead of cheese or forego the stuffing altogether. The restaurant I mentioned earlier, the historic Rocky Hill Inn, added poached pears to the blue cheese stuffing, complementing the bacon and blue cheese beautifully. (If you live in the area, the Inn is a great place to meet a friend for warm hospitality, a cold drink, and a plate of Devils. Add a side of their excellent fried pickles while you’re at it, and don’t miss the lunch and dinner menus; they’re delicious!) Variations aside, the basic premise of the appetizer is the same: date or prune, stuffed, and wrapped in crispy bacon. Salty, sweet, crispy, creamy. How could you go wrong?
As we’ve established before on this blog, I’m a total lightweight when it comes to spicy foods. I knew I wanted to add a little heat to my Game Day Devils and first thought of using chipotle in the glaze before deciding on Sriracha for its hint of tang. I ended up making two batches with different ratios of maple syrup to hot sauce. My taste tester loved both versions, though, as a big fan of spicy food, he tended to gravitate toward the Sriracha-heavy batch. To appeal to a range of party guests, I’ve stayed on the conservative side with 2 teaspoons Sriracha in the recipe to give each bite a subtle warmth rather than an assertive heat. Feel free to dial up the hot sauce to your tastes!
Maple Sriracha Devils on Horseback are so easy to prepare: just pit the dates, stuff, wrap, glaze, and bake. You can prep them a few hours ahead of glazing/baking and store them in the refrigerator, making them great for entertaining. These two-bite snacks are just begging to be enjoyed with a cold beverage in front of the TV with friends this weekend. Don’t expect them to last for the entire game, though; these little Devils tend to disappear as quickly as they’re made!
More of my favorite recipes for Game Day entertaining:
Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Warm Crab and Artichoke Dip
Grilled Meatball Subs
Sweet Potato Fries with Chipotle-Lime Aioli
Jam Crumble Bars
Strawberry Basil Soda
Spiced Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas)
Beer Raised Waffles with Cheddar and Scallions (great with chili!)
Ham and Swiss Slab Pie