Wednesday, August 21, 2013

My Cooking Attempts: Stuffed Figs

Once in a while David and I make dinner out of appetizers. This isn't an unusual phenomenon, it usually happens when we can't agree on what to eat. So instead of settling for one meal we each choose an appetizer we are craving and, let's just say, it may lead to a little overeating! Let me contribute to your inability to stop eating with this recipe for stuffed figs from Gordon Ramsay's Healthy Appetite. 

8 ripe figs
3 1/2 oz (100g) soft goat cheese
handful of chives, finely snipped
good quality balsamic vinegar, to drizzle
few thyme sprigs, leaved stripped
2 tbsp (30ml) toasted pine nuts

Honestly I didn't measure a single thing for this recipe. I just used the amount that looked right. Let me show you...

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Trim off the tip from each fig. Cut a slit down the middle and squeezed the base of the figs so it "blooms" like a flower.

Stuff the figs with goat cheese. I just used the amount of cheese the fit into each fig. Some are bigger, which require more cheese, some are smaller, these will obviously allow for less cheese. Place in foil. The foil should be large enough to completely seal in the figs.

Sprinkle with chives and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with thyme leaves and pine nuts (I forgot to buy thyme, so no thyme for me). Try to keep the figs standing upright.

Bring up the sides of the foil and fold together to seal the package. Bake for about 12 minutes. Unwrap the package and serve immediately.
Note: You can also grill them on a bbq for the same amount of time.

This is what they look like:

Gorgeous aren't they? And they pair so well with a glass of wine! It's a match made in my oven. ;)

Things I would change next time 'round:

  • Add more goat cheese. Since goat cheese can sometimes have an overpowering flavor I didn't want to over stuff the figs and loose the flavor of the fruit. However, while I was enjoying these bite-sized flavor bombs I found myself wishing they had more melty, delicious goat cheese. So next time I will add more cheese.
  • Toast the pine nuts. I'm obessesed with toasting nuts, it really does develop their flavor. I didn't pre-toast the pine nuts because I figured they were going in the oven and they would toast alongside the figs. That was not the case. So next time I will pre-toast them for an extra boost of flavor and crunch. 

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