Farm Fresh Pick of the Week: Figs

Friday, July 20, 2012 10:18

From Cocktail Hour to Dessert

By Casey Pukl

Right next to avocados on the list of California’s signature produce, you’ll find figs. One of the first fruits to ever be dried and stored, all of the figs now used in the US actually come from California. These delicious little fruits are actually fat, sodium, and cholesterol free and full of fiber, so they’ll keep you full! They’re great to toss on top of salads for a little sweetness or even to broil and top with ice cream as a dessert! This week, Executive Chef Kristen Burman, Pastry Chef Jamie Crone, and bartender Claude Grove share some of their favorite ways to prepare figs!

Organic Quinoa-Stuffed Baby Quail 
Grilled Local Figs, Fig Gastrique

Burman’s latest creation is not only elegant for any occasion, but it’s incredible easy to make. First, she starts by cooking up some quinoa according to the instructions on the box. Stuff the bird with the quinoa. Then, take your quail and tuck the legs into the cavity, and pull the wings back. While this step isn’t necessary, Burman notes, it looks great!

Next, season the bird with oil, salt, and pepper, and bake at 375 degrees until the stuffing inside reaches 140 degrees.

While the bird is cooking, slice the figs in half, toss with some oil, fresh chopped herbs, salt and pepper.  Lightly grill on both sides until they slightly caramelize.

The gastrique is made by reducing fig vinegar with a bit of sugar and chicken stock. To plate, lay out the figs skin down, drizzle with gastrique, place the bird on top, and drizzle the rest of the gastrique on top.

Homemade Fig cookies
Orange-Walnut Ice Cream, Caramel Sauce, Bruleed Fresh Figs

I don’t know about you, but as a kid, I was never a fan of Fig Newtons. Something about them being advertised as a cookie never appealed to my 7 year old palatte. I felt like I was being tricked into eating something healthy.

Fast-forward to adulthood, and I cannot get enough of them. They’re just sweet enough to get you through those cravings without downing a pint of ice cream. For this week’s dessert, Jamie has recreated an even tastier version of these classics!

First, start by blending dried figs in a food processor with orange juice, honey, and a pinch of cinnamon. This will be your filling. The dough is an incredible buttery cookie dough flavored with honey, orange zest, cinnamon, and vanilla. The dough will be incredible sticky and soft, so it has to chill to harden slightly once made. Once it has chilled, you’ll need to work fast to roll it out and cut into strips, or else it will return to it’s sticky state.

Pipe the fig mixture down the center of the strips once they’re rolled out, and fold over to fully cover the fig. Bake at 325 until the dough is golden brown. Cut the strip into bite-sized cookies while still warm.

To make the ice cream, steep toasted walnuts and orange zest in heated milk for 30 minutes. Bring the mixture back up to a boil, temper with eggs, strain and cool. Then run it through your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Serve the cookies with a scoop of ice cream and a quickly bruleed fig for an incredible take on this classic.

“Figged Up”
Creator: Claude Grove

Fresh Figs
Forteleza Silver Tequila
Grand Marnier
Agave Syrup
Fresh Lemon Juice
Splash of Orange Juice

Instructions: Muddle figs, lemon juice, orange juice, and agave together. Add tequila and Grand Marnier, shake, strain. Serve up and garnish with fig slice.

Bartender Claude Grove is himself a signature staple of the Anthology experience. With his knack for quirky drinks with ingredients that make you scratch your head, he’s got a creative spin for just about any drink you can think of. We’re lucky to have him around!

Claude’s lastest creation is one that really highlights not only a unique fresh ingredient to use in a cocktail, but also a unique tequila. Completely aged in stainless steel casks, this tequila has an incredibly strong citrus quality to it. There are hints of cardamom and the classic agave flavor, but overall, I’d have to say that this tequila is really unlike any other. It’s a great choice for this cocktail because it brings all of the flavors together and complements the fig perfectly.

Come on down and give all of our Farm Fresh specials a try this week! As always, they’re on special starting tonight and running through next week while supplies last!