Broiled Figs with Goat Cheese

Photo Credit: Ashley Cuoco for Food.com

Sweet, succulent figs. They have two distinct seasons, as told by Whole Foods:

There are two seasons for domestic fresh figs; the first or “breba” season is the first few weeks in June. The second or “new wood” season typically runs from August through October. The most common variety is the Black Mission fig followed by the Brown Turkey fig and the Green Kadota fig respectivly.

These Black Mission figs are halved, skewered on rosemary sprigs, drizzled with honey, broiled and topped with goat cheese. This is my favorite flavor combo: the sweetness of the fig, the savory rosemary and tangy, salty cheese. You eat these as they fall apart on skewers or serve on top of toasted crostini. I would even crush the fig, getting all that goodness on the crispy bread, and drizzle with extra honey for good measure.

 

Photo Credit: Ashley Cuoco for Food.com

 

Photo Credit: Ashley Cuoco for Food.com

 

Photo Credit: Ashley Cuoco for Food.com

 

Photo Credit: Ashley Cuoco for Food.com

 

Photo Credit: Ashley Cuoco for Food.com

  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 4 large figs, stems trimmed, halved lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 oz goat cheese (I prefer Vermont Creamery Herb goat cheese log)
  • 4 wood skewers
  1. Soak 4 wood skewers in water for 15 minutes.
  2. Twist rosemary stems around skewers and slide fig halves onto skewers, being careful not to break them. Arrange on a baking sheet with the cut side of the figs facing up.
  3. Preheat the broiler to high. Squeeze lemon juice on top of figs. Drizzle each fig with a drop of honey. Broil figs till they are lightly browned and softened, about 2 minutes.
  4. Top each fig with a piece of goat cheese and broil for an additional 2 minutes until melted. Drizzle with extra honey if desired.

Recipe courtesy of Food.com.

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Autumn Honey Nut Brittle

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Photo Credit: Ashley Cuoco

This autumnal brittle: so shiny and colorful! This is what drew me to this recipe. I’ve also been trying to get more protein into my diet. A variety of nuts are a great way to do that. And, you don’t have to feel guilty eating candy with all this good stuff mixed in! Cranberries and pumpkin seeds make this extra fall-ish. This was my first time making any kind of brittle or hard candy. One thing I learned is how important the heat of the sugar mixture is. Read my tips below and give it a whirl! Throughout the day you’ll break and crack the whole sheet till it’s gone.

Yield: 10-12 servings


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  1. Heat the sugar, honey, water and salt in a large pot over a low-medium flame. Stir every five minutes or so. The mixture will begin to foam and bubble as it heats. Using a candy thermometer, continue to heat the mixture until it reaches a temperature of 310 degrees Fahrenheit*. This is very important because this is the temperature at which sugar hardens into a rock-like state after it cools. It can take up to an hour for the mixture to reach that high of a temperature, so be patient!
  2. While the sugar mixture is boiling, place a sheet of parchment paper on top of a shallow sheet pan, about 9″x13″ and grease the parchment paper. Set aside. After the sugar mixture reaches 310 degrees turn off the heat and allow to cool to 302 degrees, then immediately stir in the butter, cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries until they’re coated evenly in the mixture.
  3. Immediately pour the mixture onto the parchment paper and spread it out into a large rectangle using a rubber spatula. Try to keep the surface relatively even and about 1 inch in height. Place the pan in the refrigerator and allow the brittle to cool for one hour. Once it has finished cooling, remove the sheet of brittle from the parchment paper and break the brittle into pieces using a meat tenderizer or clean hammer. Arrange the pieces on a serving platter and serve. Store excess brittle in a cool dry place. Enjoy!

Notes:

*If you don’t have a candy thermometer (I did not), you can use the cold water method. All you’ll need is a bowl of cold water (the colder the better, ice water works great). While the sugar mixture is cooking, periodically drop a small spoonful of the sugar mixture into the bowl of cold water. Immerse your hand in the water, try to form the sugar into a ball, and bring it out of the water. The shape and texture of the resulting sugar blob will tell you the approximate temperature of your candy. In this case, we want “hard crack,” 300-310 degrees F. This means that when the sugar blob hits the cold water, the syrup forms brittle threads and easily cracks and snaps. It will solidify and form stands of hard threads. If you are interested in making other types of candy like fudge or caramels, consult a candy temperature chart.

Recipe adapted from Eva Kosmas Flores, www.adventures-in-cooking.com

3Photo Credit: Ashley Cuoco

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Photo Credit: Ashley Cuoco