• Whitney

The Devil Within

Mmmm Maybe I should say, the devil you want inside of you...



This is my coveted, top secret, best selling recipe for "Devils on Horseback" (Vegan recipe also included). If you are not familiar with Devils, they are more of a flavor concept than a recipe. It can be a date, or a fig, or something kind of sticky and sweet, stuffed with blue cheese, or goat cheese, or any stank cheese, wrapped in meat like bacon, prosciutto, or whatever. There aren't really rules, but the product is similar and they are delicious! Now, I have mastered my Jedi Devil recipe, and I am willing to share it with you, because I love you and I would never tell a lie to you. Just don't tell that bitch down the street. Hahaha I am slightly kidding, but on a very serious note, this is one of the best-selling dishes at my restaurant and a serious crowd-pleaser.


Actually, the entire reason I am sharing this recipe is because my good friend, Kevin (who owns the blog, GetTheSoda.com and is a far better southern goddess than I could ever hope to be) asked if my restaurant would cater "Devils on Horseback" for his holiday party. You see, Kevin is the kind of person who actually throws those elaborate parties that you see in the movies. Kevin pulls out all the stops with elaborate crystal, shining silver, the kind of Christmas lights that you literally only see in movies... And here he was, asking me to cater an item that only has 4 ingredients. Also, I hate catering. If I can ever avoid catering, I will. Much like walking the catwalk, you have to pay me A LOT of money to leave my beautiful restaurant to serve you... unless my Mom or Dad asks me to. Lol But seriously...

This is the kind of beautiful stuff that Kevin posts on GetTheSoda.com


I have probably scared you at this point, but I assure you that this is a very simple, lovely recipe. You will have no trouble at all duplicating it!


You Will Need:

-Dates - Get Medjool dates, if you can; Not the ones next to the raisons in the grocery store

-Goat Cheese (or Vegan Cheese; Chao is the best, trust me)

-Basil- Must be fresh

-Local Bacon (or Vegan Bacon; Upton's Breakroom Seitan Bacon is the Best)

-Balsamic Reduction (You can also reduce your own if you want to be extra)


Copper Vault Recipe:

(My recipe that we use at the restaurant, even though I'm vegan...Just to clarify.):


You can either cook these in your oven at 400 degrees for 9-12 minutes, or broil them at 500 degrees for 2-3 minutes. Set your equipment as-needed.


We use Medjool dates because they are stickier and have more flavor. They do have a shorter shelf life. So, if you don't think you'll use them quickly, the other ones (in the raisin section) will work too. I feel so Ina Garten right now because she's always like, "If you can't find the skin of an organic, Peruvian, virgin ylang ylang, an apricot will be okay too." Costco sells Medjool dates! They aren't that fancy!


1. Dates! Slice the date down the side with a paring knife. Spread the date open and remove the pit. The pits can be small, so be thorough. So far, I haven't killed anyone in my restaurant... not with food, at least.



2. Cheese! Now, you are going to add the goat cheese to the center. If you are one of those people who just has pastry piping bags laying around (like Kevin), you will want to put the goat cheese in a piping bag (No tip is required). If your life is in shambles and you're just trying to hold it together, forget the piping bag, and use your hands. Gloves are preferable because goat cheese gets sticky when it hits room temperature, but if you don't have gloves, don't worry! Just prepare to get messy.


You need to fill the date completely with the goat cheese. When you close the date, you should have a little strip of white goat cheese, about a centimeter wide, that runs throughout the date. The goat cheese-to date ratio is important, not just for the flavor, but also to adhere the basil properly. Okay, now I sound too scientific. Just, stay with me, We're almost there!











3. Basil! Try not to focus on the size of the leaf. This is all about the balance of bitterness and acidity (Oooo-mami. J/k Umami. If you don't know what that means, we'll talk). Some leaves need to be torn in order to balance the flavor. Some leaves need to be doubled up if they're too small. Essentially, the basil leaf should cover the goat cheese strip and a little more on the sides. Don't overthink it. I've just done this a lot. However you do it will be perfect.

4. Bacon! Use local bacon. We use Bernard Farms from Orlinda, Tennessee. I won't harp on this but the pig industry can be super messed up and by using local bacon (NOT the expensive, organic, bullshit bacon from the grocery store! Find a LOCAL pig farmer and buy from them.) You are being less cruel to animals, supporting your local community, and it's better quality!


When I first tried making devils, I used prosciutto because pre-vegan Whitney loved it and it sounds fancier than bacon. However, prosciutto proved to be too thin and didn't have enough fat to balance the flavor. Instead, use local bacon (thinly sliced, not thick) and cut the bacon in half at the middle. If the bacon is too thick or too fatty, it will easily unroll in the oven, and the cooking time will go way up!


Place the goat cheese-stuffed date with basil on the edge of the half bacon strip. Tightly, roll the date until all of the bacon has been used. The bacon will actually stretch more and allow a tighter wrap when it is room temperature, but it's fine to start rolling right out of the refrigerator too. The bacon should stay in place on it's own. No skewer needed!



Place the wrapped dates as close together as possible on a baking pan. We do this to ensure that the bacon doesn't unwrap itself as the heat hits it. No anti-stick spray is needed as bacon grease will provide it!


At Copper Vault, we drizzle our balsamic reduction on the plate before placing the dates on top. It doesn't make a huge difference in flavor, but it gives the person eating more control over how much balsamic they want, and we have more control over how the plate looks. You can drizzle over or under the dates, but don't forget to use it. This is the acidity that perfects the flavor combinations.


When the bacon is browned on the top (crispy!), the Devils are done! Pull them out of the oven and place them, one at a time on a serving tray or plate. If you want to make them in advance, you can also hold them in an oven set on low for a couple hours without compromising the integrity.



Cruelty-Free Devils

Even if you aren't vegetarian or vegan, I would challenge you to try these, or at least make a few for your cruelty-free friends who sustain themselves on the raw broccoli trays at parties (It's not good, by the way. Chips and salsa is way better and cheaper.)


I won't lie. These take a touch more effort than the non-vegan ones, but they are just as delicious and you don't have the blood of millions of helpless animals on your hands. So... it's worth the extra 3 minutes of effort, right?


You can either cook these in your oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or broil them at 500 degrees for 4-5 minutes. Set your equipment as-needed.



We use Medjool dates because they are stickier and have more flavor. They do have a shorter shelf life. So, if you don't think you'll use them quickly, the other ones (in the raisin section) will work too. I feel so Inna Garden right now because she's always like, "If you can't find the skin of an organic, Peruvian, virgin ylang ylang, an apricot will be okay too." Costco sells Medjool dates! They aren't that fancy!


1. Dates! Slice the date down the side with a paring knife. Spread the date open and remove the pit. The pits can be small, so be thorough. So far, I haven't killed anyone in my restaurant... not with food, at least.



2. Cheese! Now, you are going to slice the vegan cheese, pile it into the center of the date, and squeeze the date shut. The vegan cheese should be practically spilling out of the date.


I have experimented with many, many (so many) vegan cheeses, and none of them really worked. I had pretty much given up on the idea of vegan Devils until I was asked to make some "regular" ones last-minute, but had some vegan guilt and felt like I should give it one last shot. Unfortunately, the store I went to only had one vegan cheese, which was the Chao slices. I thought that the consistency would never work, but I had no other options. I was so wrong. I was always trying to use a vegan cheese that had the goat cheese consistency, but under heat, they all transformed. Instead, the Chao became even creamier and more full-bodied. It was the perfect substitute, staring me in the face all along!



3. Basil! This is where it gets tricky. The Chao cheese isn't sticky at all, so you're going to have to have patience here. Try not to focus on the size of the leaf. This is all about the balance of bitterness and acidity (Oooo-mami. J/k Umami. If you don't know what that means, we'll talk). Some leaves need to be torn in order to balance the flavor. Some leaves need to be doubled up if they're too small. Essentially, the basil leaf should cover the vegan cheese strip and a little more on the sides. Don't overthink it. I've just done this a lot. However you do it will be perfect.


4. Bacon! Use Upton's Breakroom seitan bacon (unless you're gluten free and vegan). It's just the best! I have tried to perfect this recipe many times and the other vegan bacons just fall short.

Place the cheese-stuffed date with basil on the edge of the vegan bacon strip. Be careful because they tear easily, but don't freak out because we can fix that.Gently roll the date and once you've used the whole piece of bacon, skewer the edge with a metal or bamboo skewer. Vegan bacon will unroll in the oven without the skewer.

Place the skewered dates as close together as possible on a baking pan. We do this to ensure that the bacon doesn't unwrap itself as the heat hits it. Now, drizzle the dates with olive oil and sprinkle heavily with quality salt. These two ingredients mimic the fat and salt of real bacon. You know, without the slaughter of animals.


When the vegan bacon is crispy, the Devils are done! Pull them out of the oven and place them, one at a time on a serving tray or plate. If you want to make them in advance, you can also hold them in an oven set on low for a couple hours without compromising the integrity.


Now, drizzle the balsamic reduction over the top.



Voila! You are a vegan beast in the kitchen and everyone will be super impressed!



I love you guys! Please subscribe to my blog and let me know what other recipes you'd like to have! Xx




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About Me

          My name is Whitney Lee Thompson Forrester. You may recognize me as the cycle 10 winner of America's Next Top Model (the plus-size winner), but I am also a restaurant owner, travel enthusiast, vegan, animal lover, & fashion fiend...

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