If Cleveland has become a distinguished dot on the country's food map, The Greenhouse Tavern, helmed by chef Jonathon Sawyer, has a lot to do with it. Although he's cooked to acclaim in Miami and New York, Sawyer chose to open his eco-minded restaurant in his hometown. One of the most popular starters on the menu is the chef's revival of the British pub snack devils on horseback. He stuffs each date with dark chocolate, jalapeño and almonds before wrapping it in bacon and roasting it to the perfect sweet-salty-spicy bite. We'll be damned if you can eat just one.
Devils on Horseback
Recipe adapted from Jonathon Sawyer, The Greenhouse Tavern, Cleveland
Yield: 24 pieces
12 strips of bacon, halved crosswise
24 dates, pitted
6 squares of bittersweet baker's chocolate, broken into shards
Fleur de sel or other coarse sea salt
12 marcona almonds, halved
½ jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
1. Preheat the oven to 300°. Arrange the bacon on a baking sheet and warm in the oven for 15 seconds, then remove and let cool. Turn the oven up to 400°.
2. Stuff each date with a piece of chocolate, a few grains of fleur de sel, half a marcona almond and a piece of jalapeño. Wrap each date with a strip of bacon (secure it with a toothpick, if desired) and place on a baking sheet, seam side down.
3. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until the bacon is golden brown. Serve immediately.