THE GOOD THING about doing a cooking challenge is cooking with ingredients you wouldn’t normally cook with or even buy at the store. Next on the list to make: two new recipes with a common ingredient: figs. Fancy.
I know what you are thinking-but no, I did not just buy fig newtons and cut them up! They are actual dried figs.
I wonder how hard it would be to make homemade fig newtons?
- Fancy Fig Muffins
My first recipe was for muffins. Easy to make, at first they were not very impressive to me when I tried them. As I didn’t try one fresh out of the oven but the next morning, I found it to be a bit dry. It was good, just not as satisfying as other muffins that I have made.
I tried one again the next morning, but I heated it up in the microwave and it worked wonders. The muffin no longer tasted dry and gave the fig a more complex taste. Maybe my taste buds were off on the first day. Everyone assured me they were tasty and every muffin I had after the first one was delicious.
Next time I make these, I will de-stem the figs first. As I don’t normally get figs just to eat, I didn’t think to remove the stems while chopping them up, short as they were. Even though they were quite small, the hard stem would jar you when you bit down on it. A shock if you are not expecting it.
Muffins are pictured with a green smoothie. I never use a recipe, but I always blend spinach first, then add yogurt and whatever fruit I have on hand. A great addition to any breakfast or mid-morning snack.
- Fancy Yogurt with Sautéed Figs and Honey-A Dessert
I made these for my parents one evening when they came over after dinner to see my little one. A plus about this cooking challenge-it is upping my entertaining game. What was great was I didn’t have to cook a full meal and we had a great chat.
I had wanted to make this dish a couple days prior but was thwarted by my major shortcoming-not fully reading a recipe before trying to make it, or even buying the ingredients. I was all set to make them with the leftover dried figs from the muffins. In fact I bought the bigger package in order to have enough figs for both recipes, two birds one stone and all that. I was doing my “close” reading of the recipe right before commencing cooking when it jumped out at me:
4 plump fresh figs, sliced into rounds.
Did you catch that?
Big stumbling block. The kind that brings your cooking to a halt because you absolutely do not have the right ingredients to keep on going. Note to self: READ ENTIRE RECIPE CLOSELY. So, I had to put off making the sautéed figs for another time.
It’s now another time (time flies in writing land!). I had people to eat the dessert and the right ingredients. I sliced the now fresh figs into rounds and began to sauté. Everything moved along nicely.
Then I cooled.
Then I topped and drizzled with honey. Ta da!
They were a nice treat on a summer evening. Looking back, two things could have made them better.
- I could have thickened up my yogurt by using a piece of cheesecloth. Remember, I make my own yogurt so it comes out a little more soupy than when bought at the store. The result was that my delicate sautéed figs sank a little bit in the yogurt.
- I could have divvied up the yogurt into little bowls before topping the figs. I put the figs and yogurt into one big bowl, and then when I served them into small individual bowls I lost my pretty aesthetic. Hindsight.
I do suggest when making anything with figs check out Louis C.K.’s bit on pig newtons. Especially if you have kids in your life.