Charles Walpole of Blind Pig Bistro will celebrate his one-week anniversary tomorrow. It was just last Thursday that Walpole officially opened the doors to his new 900-square foot, 25-seat restaurant formerly occupied by Nettletown. After spending 14 years working for other chefs in Seattle, including William Belickis and Ethan Stowell, Walpole found the courage to leave a cushy job to do his own thing.
Today, he shares one of the recipes from the Blind Pig menu: chorizo-stuffed dates with a side of romesco sauce. It's a dish Walpole currently serves as a snack. "People have been commenting on how much they love them. It's the one thing we try to always have on the menu."Chorizo-Stuffed Dates
5 Medjool dates
3 oz. dried Spanish chorizo
Sprig of thyme
1 Tbsp. butter
Pinch of sea salt (Walpole uses Maldon)
Slice dates along one side and open like a book. Remove pit and replace with a strip of chorizo and fold back together. Heat butter in pan until it starts to brown and get frothy. Add thyme sprig and dates. Spoon butter over dates and place in 350 F. oven for about 6 minutes. Arrange dates on a plate and spoon some of the butter over and sprinkle on some sea salt. Serve with romesco sauce on the side.
1 red bell pepper
1 onion, diced
1 Tbsp. garlic, chopped
1/4 c. toasted hazelnuts
1 oz bread, diced and toasted
1 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
1 tsp. pimenton (Spanish smoked paprika)
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
Char red pepper on open flame. Peel off blackened skin, take out the seeds and chop. Cook onion and garlic in olive oil until it starts to brown. Add pimenton, hazelnuts and bread. Blend mixture in food processor while drizzling in sherry vinegar. Season to taste with salt.