(Another totally unconventional starter)
(For the Goans, do also try stuffing the Dates with Goan Sausage meat, yes.... I know it sounds wierd, but its simply out of this world)
18 (1 by 1/4-inch) pieces cream cheese
18 pitted dates
18 salted and roasted whole almonds
6 slices bacon cut crosswise into thirds
Special equipment: 18 wooden picks
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Stuff 1 piece of cheese and 1 almond into each date, then wrap one piece of bacon around each date and secure bacon with a toothpick if desired. Arrange dates, bacon seam down and 1 inch apart in a shallow baking pan.
Bake 5 minutes, then turn dates over with tongs and bake until bacon is crisp, 5 to 6 minutes more. Drain on a paper towel or parchment. Serve immediately.