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Figs

Tracy_K's picture

Figs (post #59361)

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Since I have never been able to find fresh figs of guaranteed quality, I am going to order a box from Harry & David. They're quite expensive, I think ($29.95 for 1 1/2 lbs) but if they are as good as everyone seems to think they are, it will be quite worth it. I trust the quality as well, having had wonderful experiences with H&D fruits in the past (oh, for the glory days, when my dad got not one but TWO fruit-of-the-month clubs as gifts from business associates...).

Which ones should I get? They offer Black Mission Figs, Royal Kadota Figs, and Calimyrna Figs.

Might go ahead and get some mangoes too, I can never find decent ones around here.. they look nice but they have no smell at all, and like peaches, mangoes should smell ripe!

TIA

Marie-Louise_'s picture

(post #59361, reply #1 of 20)

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I love Mission figs, but oh my God, I doubt that my TREE cost $29. That's painful! I've never bought anything from H&D, but I have recieved gifts from them-they have great stuff.

nutcakes_'s picture

(post #59361, reply #2 of 20)

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Figs are a late summer fruit, so I would not order them now. Also they are highly perishable, so don't plant on keeping them more than a few days. I

I am so-so about figs. They can widely vary in taste, depending upon the trees. They are a backyard fruit here, so maybe the commercial fruit is better. I mostly don't care for them and often find them mealy and tasteless, and I am getting fully ripe ones. I most often like the green skinned/pink flesh ones (there are dozens of varities so I don't know the names). I do like then grilled and wrapped with a piece of proscuttio, and have had a couple tarts that were good.

Marie-Louise_'s picture

(post #59361, reply #3 of 20)

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i Figs are a late summer fruit
Not entirely true-they fruit twice-June and late summer through the fall. I like them plain or in salads w/ a little proscuitto. The ones in my garden are tasty (but I know what you mean about how they are sometimes mealy). Even if you don't like the fruit, they are a beautiful tree for your garden-smooth gray bark, twisted branches and those leaves!

Tracy_K's picture

(post #59361, reply #4 of 20)

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Hmmmm... maybe I'll try harder to find 'em locally... I'd hate to shell out that kind of cash and then not like them! But I've never even SEEN them anywhere around here.

Glenys_'s picture

(post #59361, reply #5 of 20)

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I'm never without dried Mission figs in the house. I add them to braised dishes (often just substituting for prunes), slice them open and stuff them with Gorgonzola, bake them into focaccia or replace raisins in bread sliced figs. For a dessert platter I poach them in Port until they're plump and infused then pat them dry and dip them in chocolate, reducing the poaching liquid to drizzle on the side.
As in the other thread about fig balsamic, I make them into salad dressings à la LuLu's version. As for fresh, we have a tree across the alley, so fruit and leaves are always part of summer.
I want to try something with Medjool dates. My local store has the organic ones. Done anything fun with them?

samchang_'s picture

(post #59361, reply #6 of 20)

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I did have pitted Medjools stuffed with a feta/ricotta mixture, which had been spiked with cumin and cayenne. Quite good! Sweet, salty, tangy, with that musky cumin flavor and the bite of pepper. Wonderful contrasts and blendings of flavors. As you can imagine, they're also quite filling.

Glenys_'s picture

(post #59361, reply #7 of 20)

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What wine did you serve with them? I can taste sherry or a great rosé right now.

Astrid_Churchill's picture

(post #59361, reply #8 of 20)

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Pit the date and fill the cavity with plain cream cheese and one whole pecan. Simple, but good.

Jean_'s picture

(post #59361, reply #9 of 20)

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i and those leaves!

Pretty enough to wear, aren't they?

Michael_P.'s picture

(post #59361, reply #10 of 20)

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You're a sly one, Jean. : )

kai_'s picture

(post #59361, reply #11 of 20)

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So funny!

I've never cooked or decorated w/them, however, or worn them. Wouldn't they be pretty much like any other leaf one might wrap food in to protect it from direct heat or falling apart or something--like grape leaves? I know there must be uses for dozens of others, depending on what is indigenous/available/non-poisonous.

samchang_'s picture

(post #59361, reply #12 of 20)

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Oh, sherry definitely. A Pedro Jimenez, in fact. This was in a small bar in Segovia, Spain, the only place open for food on a day when the siesta seemed to have started 2 hours early and ran on an hour late.

Bee_Jay's picture

(post #59361, reply #13 of 20)

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This thread is leaning toward gardening, sooo.
My figs usually ripen the first crop around July 4th, and the second in September. (Maryland, near D.C.)
Kai, Some folk are alergic to fig leaves and get a rash. I guess getting kicked out of the garden is pretty rash!
BJ The Gardeners Husband

Bill_Paradis's picture

(post #59361, reply #14 of 20)

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YEAH!!!

Get the Pedro Jiminez, and you won't need the figs! Wish I could recall the name of the one we used to serve... luscious! I love 'em, especially Medjools, but M&D is
b high end
ain't it? Talk to that grocer, he's missing out. They are great with cream cheese and nuts, but even better in stuffing for pork or chicken, in sauces for game, in desserts... chutneys... Newtons!

Glenys_'s picture

(post #59361, reply #15 of 20)

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This is a good recipe for Mission fig lovers; the nuances of the dish change with the wine and honey used. It's a good way to use up bits of either.
Chicken with Honey and Figs

Marinating with honey, wine and fresh herbs will give this dish a distinctively different flavour with just a change of any one of the components. The combination of the olive oil and honey creates a dark glaze on the skin even when baked in the oven.

4 lb.OR backbone removed and butterflied OR cut into pieces
6 oz. dried Mission figs
1 bulb roasted garlic (cloves mashed into paste)
2 tablespoons herbes de Provence
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup fruity olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar or Balsamic
sprigs of fresh thyme and rosemary
1/2 cup honey
1 cup wine- red wine will deepen the color of the chicken

Combine the chicken in a shallow dish or zip-loc bag with the marinade and the figs. Marinate overnight for best flavour with a whole chicken or several hours for pieces.

To bake a butterflied chicken:
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Drain the chicken and figs.
Arrange the figs in an 10" or 12" ovenproof skillet (the chicken will fit perfectly) or roaster and place the chicken on top, skin side up. Pour the marinade back in the pan.
Roast the chicken for the first twenty minutes at 400° then reduce to 350°F.
Baste with the pan juices while cooking. Roast for another 30-40 minutes or testing done.
If using pieces of chicken, do not reduce the heat but check if it's done after twenty minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan. Keep warm.
Strain the pan juices and add the figs; heat to reduce. Adjust the seasonings and the balance of the sauce. Serve with the chicken.

To grill:
Drain the chicken and reserve the figs and marinade.
Simmer the figs in some of the marinade to plump.
Reduce the remaining marinade over high heat until thickened, adjusting the seasonings and balance of the sauce.Pat the chicken dry. Baste the chicken during grilling and serve the compote on the side.

kai_'s picture

(post #59361, reply #16 of 20)

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i I guess getting kicked out of the garden is pretty rash!

cam14's picture

(post #59361, reply #17 of 20)

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This was a good recipe, thanks for sharing Glenys. Made it Sunday night - had all the ingredients and exactly 6 0z. of dried Mission figs left so gave it a try. It was excellent and I can see where the flavor changes would come in. In trying to describe the taste of mine I would have to say it almost had an asian flavor (somewhat like hoisin sauce). Everytime I make something with figs my DH say, I hate figs and then yums his way through the meal - too funny.

AJ12754's picture

(post #59361, reply #18 of 20)

I must have printed off this recipe a year or more ago to try but between the move and the renovation I didn't make it until tonight.  It is wonderful and I had to bring out more bread for my kids to keep mopping up the incredible sauce.  What a great dish!

The trouble today is that almost everyone is famous and almost no-one is interesting. (paraphrased Tina Brown)

Cave obdurationem cordis

Adele's picture

(post #59361, reply #19 of 20)

How funny!  I just made a recipe last night from 2001 I had printed.  I ought to find it.

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

AJ12754's picture

(post #59361, reply #20 of 20)

I have so much stuff printed off from this website to try I ought to never buy another issue of FC -- oh, right...I am incapable of leaving a new issue on the newstand once glimpsed.

The trouble today is that almost everyone is famous and almost no-one is interesting. (paraphrased Tina Brown)

Cave obdurationem cordis