Bar Bites: Devils on Horseback

Photographs: Marvin Gapultos

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Seeing as it's Halloween and all, the English pub snack known as Devils on Horseback seemed apropos for the occasion. The name alone sounds like it could be an episode title for The Walking Dead. But despite the seemingly scary moniker, Devils on Horseback are nothing more than bacon-wrapped prunes—delicious, yes; scary, no.

Although wrapping prunes in bacon is definitely more treat than trick, I decided to spice things up a bit, what with all this devil talk. So for my version of Devils On Horseback, I decided to steep the prunes, along with a couple dried Ancho chile peppers, in a mixture of coffee and Kahlua. When the prunes have become plump, and the chilies soften, they are drained from their caffeinated marinade.

After removing the stem and seeds from the softened Ancho chiles, the chiles are cut into thin strips. The plumped prunes can then be wrapped first in a strip of chile, then in a strip of bacon. After crisping in the oven, the bacon (and chile) wrapped prunes are then sprinkled with some chopped pumpkin seeds.

The final dish features bites that are not only sweet and salty, but are also laced with bitterness from the coffee, a gentle heat and spice from the chiles, and added crunch and nuttiness from the pumpkin seeds. With the addition of the Mexican ingredients (Kahlua, Ancho, pumpkin seeds), these Devils on Horseback become Diablos a Caballo— a great snack for Halloween, or Dia de Los Muertos, or anytime a boozy beverage is in hand.