What Are Devils on Horseback?

G. Wiesen

Devils on horseback refers to a dish typically served as an appetizer or as part of a light meal. They consist of a date or a prune, which is a dried plum, which are cut open and stuffed with a small piece of cheese. Different types of cheese can be used for this dish, though it is often a fairly firm cheese like asiago or stilton. The date or prune is then wrapped in a small piece of bacon and the devils on horseback are then baked in an oven until the bacon is cooked.

Devils on horseback is sometimes served with prunes.
Devils on horseback is sometimes served with prunes.

There are many different ways in which devils on horseback can be made, though the basic method and general arrangement of ingredients is fairly standard. In its most basic form, this dish consists of some type of central food item that is small in size and stuffed with another complimentary food. The central item is then wrapped with a piece of bacon, often one long enough to just go around it once, and baked in a hot oven. While this is a simple way to make devils on horseback, the central ingredient can be selected from a wide range of possibilities to create many variations on this basic dish.

Some of the most common ingredients for devils on horseback include dates and prunes, which are both fairly similar in terms of texture and sweetness. A prune is a dried plum, and both of these fruits are usually cut open to allow something else to be stuffed into them. Other types of fruit can be used to stuff them, such as small cubes of mango or apple, though cheese is commonly used. The cheese used to make devils on horseback should complement the sweet flavor of the fruit, as well as the salty meatiness of the bacon around it all.

A similar type of appetizer to devils on horseback can also be made, which are called angels on horseback. Whereas the central component of the first dish is dark in color, such as a prune, angels on horseback are made using light ingredients like a dried apricot. Many traditional recipes, however, use an oyster, rather than any type of fruit, which can then be seasoned with some hot sauce and other ingredients.

These are still wrapped in a strip of bacon, much like the devils on horseback, and then baked before serving. Both dishes can be eaten plain, though they are often served on a piece of toast. Various dipping sauces, which work well with their salty sweetness, can also be served with them.

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