I live to eat and love to cook. Welcome to my life!

August 26, 2010

Forbidden fruit

There are several different fruits that are considered to be the forbidden fruit from Genesis in the bible....the apple tops the list as it's Latin roots refer to an "evil", however I prefer to think of the #2 choice which is the common fig.

In my way of thinking it makes sense, right? They ate the fruit, got caught eating it (oops!)and then covered up their privates with the ample leaves to walk out of the Garden of Eden. Apple leaves would have been just a smidge more risque for both parties, assuming of course that Adam was bigger than a Vienna sausage. But I'm not here to debate the bible, just to share with you my absolute love and adoration of this forbidden fruit.

Figs are a very seasonal fruit with a shelf life that is too short....they also don't ship well so for those who don't live in our beautiful climate there is little chance to get them fresh. When they are in season, I (and those around me with the same addiction) tend to gorge on them and serve them in any number of fun ways. Being that they are a fruit you will often see them in desserts, but they are so versatile that in just the past few weeks I have made them in 4 different preparations and combinations that all, quite frankly, kick some serious butt.

#1 Fig Crisp

One of my Dad's workers brought us figs from a neighboring ranch....these things were absolutely gargantuan! Each one fit in the palm of my hand and were so beautifully ripe, sweet and juicy that I could just see them as the bottom of a crisp with brown sugar and oatmeal topping. It was absolutely divine!

#2 Fig & Meyer Lemon Preserves

Same figs, just a little overripe and ready to turn to mush.....so I diced them up, sliced some Meyer lemons (skins and all), added about a cup of sugar and boiled them down until they turned in to a thick fragrant jam. I have put this on my toast for the last week and am soooooo addicted that I don't know what I am going to do when it is gone. The candied lemon peel in there give it an amazing depth of flavor.

#3 Took the Fig Preserves, spread it on thin crust pizza dough, added Duck Confit & Bleu Cheese.

Salty and sweet.....Best. Dessert. Pizza. Ever. If you are not crazy like me and have duck confit at your fingertips at all times, you could substitute prosciutto or even crisped bacon.

#4 Salted Pork Chops with Sage, Shallots & Figs

Again with the salty and sweet thing, this is easy and absolutely wonderful. My mom told me she adds a little port to it at the end, so I may try that next time. This recipe is intended for one, although the pork chop was big enough that I ate half one night and had the other for lunch the next day!

Pork Chops with Figs & Sage

1 Large Bone In Pork Chop (or boneless if you like)
1 T Salt (I used Smoked Sea Salt)
1 T Ground Sage
2 T Olive Oil, divided
1 Large Shallot
6 Medium Figs, stemmed & quartered
2 Cups White Wine
2 T Chopped Fresh Sage
1 T Butter
Salt & Pepper to taste

In a mortar & pestle, grind salt and sage together until finely ground. Sprinkle on both sides of the pork chop and let it sit for at least 2 hours.

Heat 1 T olive oil in a skillet and sear pork chop on both sides until browned, but not cooked all the way through. Set aside. Add remaining oil to pan and add shallots, saute until soft and add figs. Cook briefly over medium heat and then add wine and sage. Cook until the sauce is reduced a bit and add in pork chop, cook until the chop is cooked through. Season the sauce to taste, you will most likely not need any salt.



Lynn Kenton said...

MMMMM! Don't forget the halved fig w/ a mint leaf and a dollpop of gorgonzola or Maytag bleu for dessert or appetizer! Easy and so good! When do I get duck pizza again?

Jeni said...

Whenever you want....I have just one duck leg left before I have to make the confit again!