Figs

Figs: It’s goodbye for now. Not goodbye forever.

by Shawnda on July 22, 2013

in Figs,Pork

Pork Loin with Madeira-Fig Sauce

Backyard fig season. It is over.

Supermarket fig season. Hasn’t started yet.

What’s a girl to do? Eat caprese-everything and roast never-ending jalapenos? I guess, but it’s no where near as fun.

Pork Loin with Madeira-Fig Sauce

I’ve had my eye on this beauty of a recipe from Tide & Thyme for ages but after 2 parts poor planning and 1 part just not caring, I found myself with fewer figs and a different cut of meat than the recipe called for. But I didn’t let that stop me.

And with more madeira than we’d ever care to drink and no more figs to pair it with, I went all in and started the meat off in a madeira brine the night before to make the pork loin extra juicy.

It turned out to be one of those cook-once-and-eat-all-week meals. And not a single person complained. Especially when leftovers were served up with some brie in the form of a quesadilla.

If you absolutely must eat this for dinner tonight, skip the brine and go with the 1-hour marinade. There are no losers here.

Pork Loin with Madeira-Fig Sauce

An overnight rest in a madeira brine makes for an extra flavorful, juicy pork loin topped with a fresh fig and madeira sauce.

Ingredients

  • For the brine:
  • 1 cup madeira
  • 2 minced cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup salt
  • Black pepper
  • ~3 lb pork loin
  • Cold water
  • For the sauce:
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tsp + 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 2 shallots, finely diced (~1/3 cup)
  • 1 tsp flour
  • 1 lb figs, trimmed and quartered*
  • 1 cup madeira
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • *I didn't have a full pound. We all survived. Also, I reserved a few quarters for tossing with the cooked sauce at the end.

Instructions

  1. The night before, dissolve the salt in 4 cups of water in a deep dish (I used my dutch oven).
  2. Add the madiera, garlic, and a generous amount of pepper.
  3. Add the pork loin and then add enough water to just cover the meat, if necessary.
  4. Cover and refrigerate until the next evening.
  5. Preheat oven to 425.
  6. Discard the brine and transfer the pork to a place, patting them dry with a paper towel.
  7. Brush the meat with oil and season with black pepper and 1 tsp of salt.
  8. In a large pot or dutch oven (bonus points of it's oven-safe, it will cut down on a dirty dish - consider cutting the pork loin in half if size is a problem - I did), heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  9. Sear the meat, turning every 2 minutes or so, until nicely browned all over.
  10. Transfer the meat to a plate and add butter and shallots to the pan.
  11. Stir in the remaining salt and flour and cook until the shallots have softened, ~3 minutes.
  12. Add the figs, madeira, red wine vinegar, and garlic to the pan, bringing to a simmer.
  13. Return the pork loin to the pot and transfer to the oven (or transfer everything to a large baking dish if you didn't have an oven-safe pot large enough).
  14. Bake to an internal temperature of 140 degrees, remove from the oven, and loosely tent with foil, letting the pork loin rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving with the pan sauce.

Notes

Yields: 8 servings

Adapted from the Lees Brothers via Tide & Thyme

Estimated time: 24 hours

{ 9 comments }

The Fig Burger

A burger so nice that last week, we had it twice. In a row. Seriously.

Fancy burgers have been a thing around here for a while (Exhibit A. And Exhibit B.) but this one is my new summer favorite.

The Fig Burger

Do you like figs? And caramelized onions? And wine? And burgers that you have to transfer inside to finish cooking because your grill was shooting flames from the gas line?

3 out of 4 ain’t bad. (And somewhere about an hour from here, my dad is shaking his head and muttering how this would never happen with charcoal.)

Our little fig tree pushed it’s first real crop this year. Add those to the figs we hopped the fence to pick from my friend Harmony’s not-so-little fig tree while she was out of town, and you get things like this.

Fresh figs with honey

And this.

Fresh figs, honey, and brie

But you’re here for this one, so let’s cut to the chase.

The Fig Burger

While you’re heating the grill (and hopefully yours doesn’t turn into the weapon that ours did), you caramelize some onions. And then you add figs, the wine or booze of your choice, a splash of balsamic vinegar and then you let it simmer away until the liquid is gone.

What you have left is a slightly sweetened concoction bursting with flavors that are kind of magical.

And by kind of, I mean completely. Pair that with a juicy burger and some goat cheese, and you have our new favorite burger. And I suspect, one of your new favorites.

Burgers with Figs, Caramelized Onions, and Goat Cheese

Figs, caramelized onions, and red wine (or Madeira) are cooked down into a flavorful, glazed topping perfect for summer and fig season.

Ingredients

  • For the fig topping:
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small white or yellow onion
  • 4-5 oz fresh figs, quartered
  • 1/4 cup wine*
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch of salt
  • For the burgers
  • 4 burger patties, made & grilled to your liking
  • 4 buns
  • Honey goat cheese, crumbled
  • *Use whatever you have open; we've used a Malbec Rose and Madeira. The Madeira (my favorite) will make for a sweeter topping coated in a thicker glaze than a non-fortified wine.

Instructions

  1. Cut the onion from pole-to-pole (root to stem end) and then cut each half into 1/4-inch thick slices.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat and add the onions.
  3. Cover and stir ever 4-5 minutes, for 15 minutes.
  4. The onions will be a nice amber color at this point - add the figs, wine, balsamic, and salt, stirring to mix.
  5. Cover (if your lid doesn't have a way to steam to escape, leave slightly ajar), reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until there is no standing liquid remaining.
  6. Top your burgers with a generous scoop of the fig-onion mixture and crumbled goat cheese (honey flavor is my favorite).

Notes

Yields: 4 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 45 minutes

{ 20 comments }

Fig & Prosciutto Pizzettes

by Shawnda on August 3, 2011

in Appetizers,Figs,Goat cheese,Pizza

Fig & Prosciutto Pizzettes

Figs are such a beautiful food. The outside a mixture of green and burgundy, the flesh inside a pretty shade of rose.

They seem to only be available for such a very short time, so when I see them, I typically buy them. And then go back two days later and grab some more. And then go back two days after that. They don’t last long around here :)

Besides crostini, one of my favorite ways to eat them is on pizza with caramelized onions and prosciutto. There is a lot going on with sweet figs and onions, salty prosciutto, and tangy goat cheese. It’s a fun, delicious alternative to the pepperoni or margherita that we usually make.

Serve it in large pizza form or make smaller pizzas, pizzettes, to feed a small crowd.

Fig & Prosciutto Pizzettes

Spring for the imported prosciutto. It’s pricey, my store sells it for $20/lb, but you’re not buying a pound. 4 paper thin slices will run you ~$3. It’s a wonderfully salty splurge that’s worth every penny.

Fig & Prosciutto Pizzettes

Mini pizzas topped with caramelized onions, figs, and prosciutto.

Ingredients

  • 2 large yellow onions, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb of your favorite pizza dough (I used a half batch of this recipe)
  • Cornmeal for dusting
  • Olive oil
  • 4 slices of prosciutto, torn into pieces
  • 8 figs, quartered
  • 1-2 oz goat cheese, crumbled

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat (I use a non-stick pan). Add the onions and stir to coat.
  2. Cook for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until dark brown.
  3. Add 1/4 cup water, stir well to deglaze the pan, and remove from heat.
  4. Preheat the oven to 450.
  5. Split the pizza dough into 8 pieces and roll out on a cornmeal-dusted surface.
  6. Divide the onions between each pizza round.
  7. Brush the edges of the dough with remaining olive oil and transfer to the oven to bake for 6 minutes (use a pizza stone or a lined baking sheet).
  8. Top with prosciutto, figs, and crumbled goat cheese.
  9. Bake for 3-4 minutes, until heated through.
  10. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

Yields: 8 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 1 hour

{ 10 comments }

Crostini with Figs, Prosciutto, and Goat Cheese

There are just some things that don’t belong together. Like socks & sandals. Me & bangs. And me & skinny jeans.

And then there are those things that were clearly just made for each other. Peanut butter & chocolate. Chili & Fritos. Me & spanx. And figs & proscuitto.

I get really excited when figs pop up in the produce department. Unless it was in Newton form, figs just didn’t show up at the small grocery store in my hometown where the occasional whole pineapple was as exotic as the selection got. After moving to the big city, that all changed.

Exotic factor aside, I absolutely adore figs for being so versatile. They’re not overly sweet so they’re as perfect for savory dishes as they are dessert. We’re mostly partial to figs in savory dishes.

Crostini with Figs, Prosciutto, and Goat Cheese

These crostini are a personal and a crowd favorite. And no matter how many I make, it’s almost never enough. The juicy, slightly sweet fruit pair wonderfully with salty prosciutto and tangy goat cheese. Throw in a crispy slice of toasted baguette and a drizzle of honey… you’ve got dinner. Or I do.

I might have eaten nothing more than a plate of fig crostini with an ice cold, crisp Sauvignon Blanc the other night for dinner. I might have declared it the most perfect dinner ever. I might also agree that sometimes I’m a little dramatic… but this wouldn’t be one of those times :)

Crostini with Fig, Prosciutto, and Goat Cheese

Fresh figs pair wonderfully with salty prosciutto and tangy goat cheese - these crostini are sure to be the hit of the party.

Ingredients

  • 12 1/2-inch slices of baguette
  • Olive oil
  • 6 Tbsp goat cheese, at room temp
  • 4 slices of prosciutto*
  • 4 figs, thinly sliced
  • Honey, for serving
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

    *Spring for the imported stuff from the deli counter if your store carries it. It will be well worth it - and you'll get 3 crostini out of each slice of prosciutto so it won't break the bank!
  1. Heat broiler.
  2. Place baguette slices on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until golden brown.
  4. Remove from oven and let cool.
  5. Tear prosciutto slices into thirds.
  6. Spread 1/2 Tbsp of softened goat cheese on each crostini.
  7. Arrange prosciutto and sliced figs on top.
  8. Just before serving, lightly drizzle with honey and sprinkle salt over top.
  9. Serve at room temperature.

Notes

Yields: 12 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 15 minutes

{ 30 comments }