Duck Prosciutto Appetizer with dates and aged cheddar to serve your guests a sweet and salty bite for the holiday season.
The holiday season is coming, we’ll soon receive guests at home and/or vice versa. Here is a great idea to make your guests happy as a clam. A lovely plate of duck prosciutto appetizer rolled up around a dated piece and aged cheddar to open up those guests’ stomachs. Those little bites will go away in no time, guaranteed, so make sure to prepare enough of those little nibbles.
This recipe is based on an appetizer my mom did last year, which was simply the duck prosciutto and the sharp cheddar with a drizzle of maple syrup. Back then, I really enjoyed it, it was delicious as it was but missing a little “je ne sais quoi“. I also experience the date and bacon mini rolls bites at an English friend’s place a few years ago. Well… I’ve mixed up those 2 appetizers to make the ultimate bite of flavour that goes from salty to sweet, crispy to creamy, a lovely contrasting nibble. This holiday season if you want to make your guests the ultimate gift, make them those little ducks, dates and cheddar mini rolls hors d’oeuvres.
This is the caviar of cured meat, it’s simply a duck’s breast with its fat (magret), cured and dried. They usually sell it, pre-sliced, sous-vide at the butcher, delicatessen shops or markets. If you do not know where to buy such a product, they are lots of recipes out there to make your own duck prosciutto (like this NYT one). Some with just salt, others like gravlax, with sugar and salt-cured, extra smoky flavours, spiced up, etc. Plus once you’ve cured a whole breast you can easily keep it in the fridge for weeks. It goes in so many dishes, like salads, croutons with figs or marmalade or cooks and turns it into a fancy pancetta. This last one is often mistaken for bacon when lightly cooked and crispier. But the duck is finer and more delicate than bacon, although both are pretty high in fat so it’s better not to abuse those little appetizers.
The cheese used in those rolls needs to be an aged one, a sharp and strong cheese. You can substitute the aged cheddar for any other type of aged cheese. I’m thinking; Gruyere, Conté, Appenzeller, Manchego, aged gouda or as long as it’s aged for one year.
The older the better, it will hold in the rolls. Aged cheeses contain less moisture, they will take longer to melt in the heat and hold up better. If you use a young cheese, it will melt right out. Another nice fact about older cheese is… they are stronger so you can use a way smaller piece and still get a clear presence of it in the appetizers.
We’ll cook them just a tad the rolls, up until the duck gets slightly crispier and the cheese on the verge to melt, so keep an eye on them when they get in the oven.
Let’s roll those little appetizers!
Duck Prosciutto Appetizer
- 100 g duck proscuitto
- aged cheddar (cut into small cubes)
- 6 dates (cut in 4 lengthwise)
- Add a piece of old cheddar and date to the end of the prosciutto and roll.
- Secure with a toothpick.
- Cook in the oven just 5 minutes at 180°C (350F) until the cheese starts to melt.