Monday, August 02, 2010
Fresh Figs Calling My Name
Can't even begin to think of how many times I've purchased figs at the Natural Food Market in Forest Hills, or Fairway in Red Hook, Brooklyn, or anywhere I stumble across them, and put them in the fridge and forgot about them until they were well past their prime! It's probably the one ingredient that I've thrown out unused more times than any other! Though, I must confess that this is one area in which I have improved greatly. I buy less for "experimentation" just because I saw it! Or maybe I've just gotten better at follow through in using things quickly after purchased.
Anyway I purchased a plastic container of figs the other day where they are sitting individually separated, think egg carton! This promotes freshness as when they are touching each other in those little berry baskets if one decides to over-ripen before you separate them the whole inventory is doomed!
On Saturday I used the first of them to make Fresh Fig and Goat Cheese Naan "Pizza" for a yummy Saturday Lunch. You can read about it on The Amateur Gourmet's Community Blog here.
So today I set out to use the rest but am bored with the typical: fig and goat cheese on arugula; fig and prosciutto; fig tarts; etc. This spurned me to search the Internet for some fresh fig recipes that I've never heard of, or much less tried. I must have found 40 that called for chopping and mixing with goat cheese and stuffing chicken breasts! Also found 100's using dried figs, even though I put in Fresh Figs for my search!
Then I found one that really piqued my interest. It is on a blog called Kitchenelly and the specific recipe with detailed prepping pics is here. My search was looking for fresh fig and chicken breast recipes. This one came up from October 2009 and intrigued me immediately. I liked the idea of the combination of ingredients salty and sweet. I probably would never have thought of using Capers (undrained, no less) with Honey in the same recipe. Capers, wine, onions, garlic, figs sounded fine. As did Wine, onions, figs, honey. Now add Stilton and Rosemary to either but to both? I really needed to try this to see what's up with this combo!
Only went to The Natural today, after all it is Sunday, and the stores are crazy busy. They didn't have plain Stilton, only mixed with apricots or cranberries or walnuts. Standing at the cheese counter mulling over my choices I remember reading a few decent recipes using Blue Cheese so I selected a Buttermilk Blue Cheese from the good ol' USA. I figured that the other ingredients were an eccentric blend how far off could this cheese be?
At home, a quick taste test of the cheese proved to be an excellent Blue Cheese, the buttermilk tang works so well you find it hard to distinguish from the tang of the blue veins.
Pulled the dish together easily using 3 very small boneless, skinless chicken breasts and the remaining 6 figs. The smells were awesome. I didn't reduce the quantity of sauce makings proportionately to the lesser amount of chicken and thusly did not have to baste more than twice during the 20 minutes in the oven. Pulled the chicken and other solids from the sauce and reduced to a medium bodied gravy/glaze and served over the chicken breasts, figs, onions, etc. On the side was Riced Potatoes w/olive oil and parsley and a salad of Baby Arugula, Matchstick Radishes, Sea Salt and a drizzle of Miso Salad Dressing. A french Baguette and a bottle of King Estate Pinot Gris and we'll call it another fabulous dinner @ the NY Huff's!