5 Inspired Twists on Devils on Horseback

These five fresh takes on the classic appetizer actually only scratch the surface of what you can dream up.

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell ©2015, Food Network

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell ©2015, Food Network

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell ©2015, Food Network

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell ©2015, Food Network

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell ©2015, Food Network

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell ©2015, Food Network

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell ©2015, Food Network

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell ©2015, Food Network

Reimagining a Classic 

Traditionally, these sweet, porky bites are built upon a pitted date or prune stuffed with a sharp cheese (like blue cheese), and a small piece of liver and/or an orange segment. Then, everything gets wrapped in bacon and roasted until crispy.

 

But of course, where there’s tradition, there are also fresh takes on it. And these puzzle-like appetizers lend themselves to creative ingredient combos.

Choose Your Own Adventure 

A vast variety of dried fruit, cheese, savory add-ins and pork can create a delicious devil on horseback — and we also like adding a vinegar or syrup to sharpen the flavor. Don’t shy away from unorthodox combinations; instead of nuts, for instance, pair gherkins with ham and mustard. Consult this mix-and-match grid to get you started (ingredients named from left)

 

Dried Fruit: figs, dates, prunes, apricots, pears

Cheese: farmer cheese, ricotta, Gruyère, goat, blue

Crunch: pistachios, cinnamon, gherkins, Marcona almonds, hazelnuts

Pork: prosciutto, bacon, baked ham, Serrano ham, speck 

Final Touch: lemon, maple syrup, mustard, sherry vinegar, balsamic vinegar

Assembly Line 

The options for devils on horseback are limitless, but the execution always is simple and rustic. Start by picking a fruit and stuffing it with cheese. Then tuck in a nut (or another extra — like our gherkins), add a flavor-enhancing drizzle, and wrap with pork.

 

Traditionally, the assembled bites get baked in the oven until crisp, hot and oozing, but we created options that are just as tasty raw (with the exception of bacon, which requires cooking).

1: Brunch-Inspired

Maple syrup and bacon are a classic sweet-and-savory duo. Pair them with a date, ricotta and a dash of cinnamon.

2: French Twist

A prune is a welcome accompaniment to this European-style lineup: Gruyere, a gherkin, grainy mustard and boiled ham.

3: Sunny and Sweet

A dried apricot, goat cheese, a Marcona almond, sherry vinegar and Serrano ham just look so bright and happy together.

4: Savory and Sharp

A dried pear is the perfect base for tempering powerful ingredients like blue cheese, hazelnuts, balsamic vinegar and prosciutto.

5: Surprising Elegance

A spritz of lemon brightens a sophisticated combination like fig, goat cheese, pistachio and speck.