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Posts Tagged ‘Fig’

This here post is the reason I love blogging and I’m sure most of you will agree. Blogging provides friendship and advice, cooking and sometimes otherwise. Blogging provides support; I haven’t come across a nasty person yet (well, I would delete them anyway ;-)). And last but not least, blogging provides inspiration particularly when you are deathly sick of every recipe you’ve past blogged about and can’t for the life of you come up with an idea for tonight’s dinner.

I have my friend John, From the Bartolini Kitchens to thank for tonight’s dinner: Roasted Loin of Pork stuffed with Fig Preserves and Goats Cheese. Of course, John made his own fig preserves (which I will do next year) but I had to use a store bought version. I find these store bought preserves rather sweet and I certainly didn’t want dessert for dinner so I decided to add some goats cheese to my stuffing to help temper the sweetness. It worked. PLUS it made an incredible jus for the Celeriac Potato Mash I made with it. I only made a few minor changes to John’s incredible recipe. This was definitely a dinner for the recipe books. Thanks John, again, I might add.

Come on pork, it’s your turn to shine. Work it, work it.
(It’s that time of year when the light SUCKS big time. Sigh.)

 

Pork Loin Stuffed with Fig Preserves and Goats Cheese

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 400 g Pork Tenderloin, butterflied
  • 100 g goats cheese
  • Fig preserves (home made or store bought)
  • 4-6 slices prosciutto
  • butcher’s twine
  • 2 tbsp high flash point oil, such as canola
  • Sherry for deglazing (I used cooking Sherry, but feel free to use the real thing)

Directions:

  1. Pre heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Spread a thin layer throughout the butterflied pork tenderloin. Crumble the goats cheese evenly throughout.
  3. Roll up the pork and wrap tightly with the prosciutto, wrap tightly with the butcher’s twine.
  4. In an oven proof roasting pan, heat the canola oil until almost smoking. Add the pork and cook the prosciutto until crispy on all sides. Remove pork for a minute and deglaze pan with the Sherry. Return pork and bake in a hot oven for 15-20 minutes or until pork has reached a minimum of 145° F. Allow to rest before cutting into slices.
  5. If the pan has juices from the fig preserves and bits of goats cheese you will want to heat on the stove and press through a fine sieve for serving. Serve with Celeriac Potato Mash.

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Today would have been my parents 51 Wedding Anniversary. Sadly they are both gone now, but I needed to remember.

Éva and Gustáv Hársfai, 1960

Autumn is definitely here and winter is following closely on her heels. Our grand old maple in the front yard finally released the last of her stubborn leaves this week and the temperatures have plummeted to the minus side most nights. We’re still very fortunate not to hit the minus (Celsius) temperatures during the day, yet. We’ve had wood fires burning every night this weekend to take the chill off; ok, I’m exaggerating, the house is toasty warm, and the fire is just for coziness and ambiance. 🙂
Work has been crazy busy since I’ve returned, but I’m not complaining – it’s better too busy than not enough. Even working late nights and on the weekend, which is why I have been unable to post and for that I do apologize, dear reader.
We’ve been cooking really healthy all week, no fat, small portions and low sodium trying to rid ourselves the few extra pounds the fine cooks and chefs in Morocco gifted us. But on Friday night we felt like a bit of a treat and decided on pizza! Pizza, of course is JTs domain; he makes his deliciously thin and crispy dough from Jim Lahey (of the New York Times). We cannot take credit for the toppings either! There is a very nice restaurant in BWV called Villa, and they serve this pizza (and it’s delicious, but of course, our’s is better!)

Rustic Fig, Goats Cheese & Prosciutto Pizza with Honey

Ingredients for the dough
Makes one very thin 12″-15″ inch pizza

  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface ( about 1/2 cup more!)
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 warm water
  • 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • Fine corn meal
  • Coarse salt
  • 4-5 dried figs (or if in season, please use fresh)
  • 100 grams goats cheese
  • 3 slices prosciutto, roughly torn into smaller pieces (remove excess fat)
  • 1-2 tbsp honey

Directions:

  1. Soak the figs in warm water for 2-3 hours; you just want to take the chewiness out of them, you don’t want them pulpy. When done, remove from water, dry and slice into bite-sized pieces.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, 1/8 teaspoon salt, yeast, and water, stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and rough. Let dough rest in a warm place (about 72 degrees) until doubled in volume, about 3 hours.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and cover with a clean, damp kitchen towel. Let stand until doubled in size, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. Place a pizza stone (we use our trusty Chicago-land cast iron pizza pan) on the lowest rack of oven and preheat to 550°F for 25 minutes (you want your stone really hot)
  5. Roll out the dough into a 12″-15″ round or to fit your particular pizza pan. We prefer our pizza crust to be wafer thin.
  6. Carefully transfer dough to hot pizza stone. Working quickly, top dough with Goats Cheese, Prosciutto, and Figs. Drizzle lightly with honey.
  7. Bake pizza until until dough is cooked through and golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  8. We topped our pizza with a little arugula and spinach because we just love the peppery taste – I didn’t shoot it because you would not have been able to see the gorgeous toppings!

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