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Posts Tagged ‘Figs’

Recently I have been on a tour of other peoples kitchens. I journeyed to Brooklyn to make La Petite Grocery Ravioli (mmmm….just as good the second time) and I went to Union Square to make this recipe. I have discovered that cooking is much easier with a sous chef(s). Not only do they chop the garlic and do the dishes, but they also take the photos! Thanks to Sous Chef Cha, this is the most thoroughly documented recipe I have ever made.

When I first read this recipe, I thought, yum! Then, of course, I mentally started modifying the recipe. Since fresh figs aren’t available right now, I used dried figs. Delicious, but I look forward to remaking this in the summer with fresh figs. If you use dried figs, try to massage them back into fruity shape so they slice better. Originally, the recipe called for Stilton and pine nuts, but I immediately thought that walnuts would be better. I bought a generic blue cheese instead of Stilton (Sorry Brits, but your cheese was overpriced at Food Emporium). The result was a delicious savory tart. Even my mom liked it and she is usually anti-onion.

Finally I know some of you are thinking, puff pastry again? I promise, I am not getting anything from the puff pastry lobby! If such a thing exists. Actually, it probably does in France, since they have legislation regarding bread. Only in France.

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Delicious Fig Bars

Wow, I cannot believe I have had the stand mixer for this long and not posted a recipe using it! Unacceptable! Thankfully, I found this recipe, which is practically designed to be used with the stand mixer. Seriously, this recipe a snap with it. The bars come together very quickly and it was mesmerizing watching everything get combined so easily. How did I ever bake without a stand mixer?!

These are usually called Food for the Gods and are a Filipino holiday treat. I’ve renamed them though because traditional bars have dates and the first time I made these with dates, I wasn’t in love with the date aspect. They were good, but the dates weren’t working for me. I had some leftover dried figs from the crostata and decided that I, a mere mortal, would tinker with the Food for the Gods. If I get struck by lightening, this is why.

But the figs in the bars are delicious! But perhaps I am partial to figs, so if you like dates, feel free to sub them back in. The bars are amazing either way, how could they not be with the scary amount of butter in them. I read the original recipe three time to make sure that I wasn’t overbuttering, but it really does call for three sticks! And all the nuts makes them very dense. So cut them into small squares and share the calories with others. Otherwise you’ll be like me, staring at an empty plate wondering where all the bars went.

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Did you make a New Year’s resolution about eating healthier and/or eating less dessert? I did not – not because I don’t think I need less dessert – but because I know that is a resolution I can’t keep. I love dessert! But I digress, this is about crostatas! Healthy, fruity crostata that allows for dessert and a modicum of nutrition. This is not overly sweet and the yogurt topping gives a nice creamy, yet fresh, taste. It is a great compromise between healthy and dessert.

Also, I love this dessert because it is essentially a free form pie. I adore the slightly messy look of galettes, crostatas, whatever you want to call them. So rustic, so charming, so much easier than fluting the edges of a formal crust.

I basically took the recipe whole hog from Bon Appetit (despite my undying love for Gourmet, I will admit, I do love the Fast Easy Fresh column. Hello black bean chili), except I subbed walnuts for pistachios. I do not like green nuts, they seem a bit unnatural to me. Plus you can’t go wrong adding pecans to a dessert. My crostata opened up a bit, as I was working quickly and did not properly pleat and press one of the sections. But the filling stayed put, so I’m deeming this recipe fast, easy, fresh and (mostly) idiot proof.

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