I super love tapas. Everything about it totally suits my style. I always want about 47 different things on the menu, and unless I'm eating with that many people, pretty sure I'm not ordering that much food. Plus, I can't eat a lot of food at one time (a lingering side effect from years of stupid stomach issues), so the small plates totally work for me. And in 30 minutes when I'm hungry again? I can order another small plate. (this little issue is the bain of hubbs' existence. oh he of the I-can-just-eat-one-huge-meal-and-be-good-for-the-rest-of-the-day clan).
Anyway, my faves are usually the things that are shoved into a date. goat cheese stuffed, bacon wrapped dates? BRING IT. And then, we hit a new tapas place and saw that they stuffed the dates with chorizo. Wait. WHAT!?! This is a brilliant idea. Except. No cheese? Bland. So, I reinstated the goat cheese. And then I was all "do I REALLY feel like shoving all this into a tiny little opening? that seems like work". And lo and behold, my newest "dip" was created. And I have no link to send you to cause this was all out of my brain!
3 chorizo links (whole foods- so they're brat sized)
6 fresh dates (had to remove the pits myself, but if you do it with scissors you kinda feel like you're playing that game Operation and it's fun)- again we get these at whole foods in the produce section, they come in a tupperware thingie
a good hit of goat cheese
a good hit of cream cheese
a little honey if you find the chorizo has too much spice for you
grape tomatoes, cut in half
cotija cheese to grate over top
if you can find loose chorizo you don't have to slit the casing and empty it out, but whole foods only carries it in links, and I always feel the teensiest bit guilty when I ask them to take it out of the casings for me. Anyway, go ahead and empty those out into a hot cast iron skillet with some oil and brown it up. then throw in your chopped up dates, tomatoes, and your cheeses. Goat cheese is a really powerful flavor, but since I like a really creamy dip, I use cream cheese as well (also helps with that whole spicy thing for the toddler). It really is just putting a bit in and tasting it until it's delicious for you. I don't even add salt and pepper to this because the chorizo itself has so much flavor, as do the tortilla chips you eat it with.
Side note: Buy the in-house made tortilla chips from whole foods. IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE. Not in any restaurant ever in the US have I tasted chips like this. They're heavenly.
Anyway, heat everything up, then throw it in a bowl and grate cotija over it. Then dig in.
Seriously, the best.
And it's 100% ok to eat this "appetizer" as a main course. Because I said so. And I would never steer you wrong.