Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Dining with the Bloggers - November 16th

Another busy week and another hasty entry for Dining with the Bloggers... I'm so sorry!! I'm especially sorry because this week I am Dining with Niki at Esurientes - The Comfort Zone, and there are so many tempting options that I must forgo for now due to time (and calorie) constraints: Flourless Chocolate Orange Cake, Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge Cake, Dutch Honeycake (I came so close to making this), Armenian Nutmeg & Walnut Cake... You get the idea. Someday soon I hope to get around to each and every one! Niki has such a beautiful blog with great photos and entertaining writing. It is truly a pleasure when a new post shows up!

Now you needn't feel too sorry for me. I may have chosen one of the simplest of recipes from Niki's blog, but it is still one that caught my eye right when she posted it - Honeyed Figs. The recipe is designed for those hard, withered, organic figs (see below - do you think mine qualify?) rather than the moist ones put up in sealed packets by Sunmaid and the like.

I ended up with Black Mission figs which I had not tried before. They're smaller and not as fleshy as the Calimyrna figs with which I am acquainted. The small size of the Black Mission figs is nice, but I think I prefer the consistency of the Calimyrna figs.

The figs are simmered in a honey syrup that is flavored with orange, cardamom pods and bay leaves. I followed Niki's advice and upped the number of cardamom pods to 4. Once cooked, those "kangaroo poo looking pellets" (as Niki referred to her figs) are transformed into tender, sweet morsels. There's a hint of orange and I suspect that a better trained palate would discern the tastes of cardomom and bay as well. Like Niki, I am now left with the "problem" of how to make the best use of these figs. The recipe recommends serving them with yogurt or creme fraiche and pistachios. I also think the figs with a little of the syrup would be very nice on top of some ice cream. But, just now, popping them in my mouth one by one works for me.

Zarah is working like crazy to finish up her assignment for school, so I'm not sure if she's going to get a chance to Dine with the Bloggers. She may post a little later, so you could stop by and check. While you're there, maybe you could leave her an encouraging word or two.

UPDATE: Bless her heart, Zarah managed to squeeze in some time for Dining with the Bloggers. She found a really lovely blog that's new to me and made some delicious apple scones. Mmmm...


Niki said...

Woo-hoo! I made it onto Dining with the Bloggers! Thanks for all the links, and what a recipe to choose. I was only looking at the remnants of my jar of figs the other day. They're nice with parma ham wrapped around them, incidentally!
And yep - yours look very kangaroo poo worthy!

Cathy said...

Hi Niki - I think it was high time! I really do want to make some of your great-sounding baked goods - especially that honey cake and the chocolate orange cake, but I've been eating a little too much of that stuff lately. I'm really enjoying the figs though - what a handy little sweet to have on hand!