Thursday, July 14, 2011

SUMMER Yumminess

 Feels like it has taken me a month to really get into summer. I love summer because of all the wonderful produce that is available which really inspires my cooking. This past week I bought a bountiful basket and part of my basket were a container of figs. Now, I've never eaten figs before so I did a search on to check out some fun reviewed recipes. Figs are a savory fruit that are mildly sweet so they are better if you can caramelize them in some way. So I decided on a recipe of

Figs and Toasted Almonds Brie

I love to pair cheese and fruit together so I thought this would be wonderful. So here are your ingredients.

1/3 C Brown sugar
3 Tbs. water
6-7 fresh figs, stemmed and sliced into eighths
1/2 C toasted almonds chopped
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 (14 ounce) round 4 1/4-inch diameter round Brie Cheese
1/2 tsp chili powder, or 1 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)

1. Pre heat oven to 325 degrees F (165 C) If you have raw almonds, place them on a cookie sheet inside the oven. Check them in about 10 minutes, they should have dark spots and a couple might be splitting a little and you can usually smell them.

2. Slice the tops off your figs, rinse them in water and then slice into eighths.

3. Heat brown sugar and water in a small pan over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add your sliced figs and cook for about 10 minutes until softened.

Optional ingredient: After making this dish I thought it needed a little something. I thought a little spice would be wonderful in it so you could add a dash of chili powder or a little red pepper. I think it would add a great depth of flavor to the dish.

4. Add the chopped almonds and vanilla.(you'll notice I used whole almonds for mine, it would be much better if they were chopped a little) Place the Brie wheel in a baking dish. (I cut off the outside crust  on my brie. I was also in a rush to find some Brie that wasn't super expensive so I bought a Brie log from trader joes and sliced off the outside crust. It needed more brie so next time I will buy an actual round.) Pour the fig mixture on top of the cheese and place in the oven.

5. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until softened but not melted. Serve with crackers. (I used ritz crackers)

This was absolutely delicious, it got rave reviews. I had some left over for the next night so I just microwaved it. It would be enough for 8-12 people or if you brought it for a party it would be perfect.

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