Passion for Pork

Recipe: Chef Mike Nguyen’s Stuffed Dates with Fennel Sausage & Bacon

Sharman - Monday, June 15, 2015

Canteen 3Chef Mike Nguyen‘s June is AB Pork Month feature at Canteen involves wrapping one local pork product in another; Homer Simpson would be proud. 

At Canteen, the restaurant orders a lot of local pork from producers such as Irvings Farms and Serben’s Organic Farm, the chefs are often featuring at least three items at a time on their menu throughout the year that contain local pork. 

“I think Alberta Pork is underrated compared to other proteins in our province, but it is on the up and up. Our pork dishes at Canteen are very popular, and you can taste the different in quality when you buy local,” says Chef Nguyen.

For this month’s feature, Chef Nguyen upped the pork factor on dish called devils on horseback. While the popular appetizer traditionally features goat cheese stuffed dates wrapped in bacon, Chef Nguyen changed things up by using Irving Farms in-house sausage to stuff dates wrapped in bacon. 

Chef Nguyen shared his recipe, featured below, but you’ll want to pop into Canteen where he pairs it with a spicy arrabiatia sauce. 

Stuffed Dates with Fennel Sausage & Bacon
Recipe courtesy of Mike Nguyen, Canteen

1lb ground Alberta pork
15g kosher salt
5g black pepper
1 onion, minced
20g fennel seed
10g coriander seed
1 lb sliced smoked bacon
1lb pitted Turkish dates


Mix first seven ingredients and stuff a tablespoon (or so) of the mixture into pitted dates. Wrap the stuffed dates with bacon. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and put into a preheated 350 C oven. Bake for 20 mins or until bacon is nice and crispy.