Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day One Ninety Six - Results and a Figgy Fig Recipe

What may I ask is going on with this weather? It feels as though New York City is experiencing an early Fall this year, fingers crossed that doesn't happen! This weather makes me want to have a glass of red wine and roast some root vegetables and cuddle under the covers at home. It does not make me want to eat fresh figs and drink rose while picnicking in the park, unfortunately. But hopefully, there will be plenty more sunny summer days for us to eat fresh figs with today's Marriage Monday's winner and soaking in some Vitamin D.

Let's get to it!

Contestant Number # 1: Chaource - Like oil and water, this pairing simply won't work. The cheese's luscious creaminess will clash with the juicy plumpness of our fresh figs. This is a case where dried figs would function, creating a consistency contrast. In this scenario, although each shares some key characteristics, they are the specific characteristics that if you ask me just don't work together. Too bad because Chaource is a fantastically delish cheese. Buy one the next time you are having guests over for some sparkling wine and serve it with some crisp morsels of bread, and you're ready to go!

Contestant Number # 2: Comte - Here we have a hard cheese paired with our juicy fig and from the comments about the previous contestant, one would think that this contrast would be more successful. In terms of consistency, it clicks somewhat more, but in terms of flavor profiles, the fresh fig combined with the firm aged goodness of the cheese miss the mark. It is a pairing that would not necessarily be bad but simply would not coax out the flavor nuances of each the cheese and the fig. You could easily eat it and taste both together but there would not be the extra special third aha moment taste that develops when a pairing works excellently together.

Contestant Number #3: Bleu d' Auvergne - Therefore by elimination, our third  cheese takes the cake  this week, why you may ask? Well that's because it is the perfect mixture of consistency and flavor profile.  The semi soft consistency of the cheese works with the juicy lusciousness of the fruit and its spicy, piquant flavors offset the fresh, fruity notes in the fig creating a magical melange of tastes. This pairing works because each element, so different from its counterpart, is able to bring out the hidden nuances in its partner -- the stuff good relationships are made of!

So how could you pair these two together in a recipe? Well honestly the best scenario is one where each gets to shine without being clouded by other ingredients. Keep it simple.

I recommend if you want to utilize both of these ingredients, you make a simple arugula, blue cheese, fig, roasted almond salad with a few slices of fennel and a few sprigs of chive here and there to spruce it up. That is the uncooked beginner dish.

Should you be feeling more advanced, these two flavors work excellently when paired in the form of a homemade dessert. Here is how I would make that:

Cake portion:

2 full eggs, 2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon raw honey
1 cup flour
1 cup gluten free flour (I love the gummy stickiness that one gets in desserts from gluten free flour and its better  for you anyhow)
1 cup buttermilk
5 fresh figs mashed up and combined into the batter
1/4 cup of finely chopped up roasted almonds
pinch of salt
drizzle of olive oil

Slice up between three and four fresh figs to place thinly on top of cake and then top with blue cheese crumbles.

Steps to prepare:

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Crush almonds and mash up figs in food processor
3. Combine all wet ingredients into one bowl and all dry ingredients in another bowl.
4. Mix together
5. Coat round cake pan with cooking spray/olive oil/butter.
6. Pour mix in.
7. Slice figs and crumble cheese for topping.
8. Once it is topped  bake until golden brown or 25 to 35 minutes.

Enjoy this with a nice dessert wine.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive