It's hard for me to believe that this year marks the 50th Super Bowl. And food has become such an essential part of this event, I can't help but wonder what was on the menu back when it all got started.
So as I was thinking about what to serve for this year's big event on Sunday, I decided to draw my inspiration from an appetizer that was hot stuff back around the time the Super Bowl got started. Ever hear of rumaki? Back in the day, it was all the rage to serve those bacon-wrapped chicken livers seasoned with sort of trans-Asian flavors. I wasn't willing to go quite that far (Liver? For a Super Bowl party? Probably not …), but the rumaki sparked an idea.
I love dates because they are meaty and sweet. I also love how delicious it is to play their flavor off of savory ingredients. And that's why I decided to remake rumaki as dates stuffed with chunks of Parmesan cheese and wrapped with bacon. And because I'm a total grill girl at heart, I popped them over hot coals to get them warm, crisp and delicious (though I include an oven alternative for those unwilling to grill).
The dates are easy to make, and even easier to eat. So be warned that your guests will eat them like candy. I would plan on a minimum of four per person. And if your crowd has a voracious appetite, double or triple this recipe.
If the dates aren't large enough to sit comfortably on your grill grates without falling through, arrange them on a wire rack and set the entire rack on the grill. Or you can just do them inside in the oven. But whichever way you cook them, let them cool a bit before serving; they get very hot.