By Brian L Lichorowic
Is it me or do people always serve pretty peculiar creations around the dark days of winter. Seems so to me…
I try everything put before me.
I guess it my upbringing in general, if someone took the time to make it, I’ll try it, and give an honest opinion to boot. Every year though, There’s always the conundrum. I’ll put something in my mouth that just makes me wince and, because I’m stupid, I’ll go back and get another one expecting a different end result. Every year something new creeps onto the buffet table. This year’s winner was my Mom’s neighbor, Francine, down in Florida, who proudly put out a tray of “French Cocktail Prunes” These “were” normal prunes, stuffed with (and I kid you not. I have witnesses) oysters, anchovies, bacon, artichokes and onions.
At least that’s all I could make out with my stupefied palette.
Francine’s a nice 80 years young lady, claims proudly it was a 50 year family secret and “I’ll die before I tell you the recipe !!”. To which I thought to myself “ Yea, I’d keep it a secret too.”
I thought of doing my part and “whacking” her just to stop the noxious cycle.
But, I ate it…with a smile and then the masochistic side of me goes back and has a 3rd just because I still can’t believe that what I just tasted. My wife Debi says “Don’t say a word, write about it…” So, I decided to write about it, so I had to go eat a 4th one of these Prune jewels so I could try and covey the ingredients.
I find that people, for the most part, put out their finest fare forward during these dark days parties. Particularly in the appetizer department. People have coveted recipes that have been tweaked to their (and our) liking. Why they only come out this time of year I don’t know. In my family, food is celebrated all year long, season to season. But I see the old yellow pages pf paper torn out of a 30 year old Better Home & Gardens with hand written notes all over it. These are the gems I search for during the silly season.
Honey Figs with Goat Cheese rolled in Pecans
1 Cup ROUGHLY Chopped Pecans
1 6 oz Log of a good goat Cheese
12 Fresh Figs either Black mission Calimyrna qtr’ed
1/2 cup Tupelo Honey (naturally an hone will work but there is a difference when you use Tupelo for browning or caramelizing. Remember that.
Let the Goat cheese get close to room temperature.
Chop the pecans so they’re fairly uneven in size and have few rough spots
Melt a dab of butter in a non-stick frying pan large enough so that the pecans spread across the entire bottom of the pan. Add the honey bring to a bubble let brown, remove form heat and spread across the piece of wax paper.
Roll the cheese log around in the pecans till covered use your fingers if you have to. Press the pecans into the cheese to make sure it covered well.
Refrigerate log until firm. Then cut into 1/2” slices.
Place the cheese on a small plate and add a couple pieces of the fig on top. Pour a couple of tablespoons of the honey over the fig and cheese. Continue reading