Friday, July 19, 2013

Savory Fig Jam and a Cheese Board for Two

You know those days when you could sit outside all day long, wine in hand, and just eat copious amounts of cheese until your arteries literally stop working? That is every day for me. If I could only have one thing to eat for the rest of my life it really would be cheese. 

So, yesterday, due to whatever political argument was ailing me at the time, I was daydreaming that Richard and I (and the 4 dogs, of course) were moving to France.... when I really got to thinking....these people know what the F is up. They drink wine (maybe even more than I do) they wear horizontal strips (which are my favorite) and I am sure that they have probably given cheese it's own food group. French women never get fat, they always look classy, and I feel like they would be much more accepting of whatever shenanigans that second glass (bottle) of wine got me into. 

Need I say more?

No. Moving to France was officially the best idea I have EVER had (as of yesterday.) So before I started looking at apartments for rent, preferably right next door to a quaint boulangerie, it seemed only fair to inform my darling husband of our new life path. Unfortunately, let's just say he was less than thrilled with the idea. Even less thrilled than when I also explained to him why turning our deck into a sandy beach was an absolute MUST for our next BBQ.... but that's a whole other story.  Anyways, while he was a bit under enthused with us moving to France for silly reasons like our careers, money, and family....... being the absolute dreamboat that he is,  he ran to the market, got every kind of amazing cheese possible, picked a perfect bottle of french wine and we are calling it a day. Did I marry well, or what? 

I obviously put on my best horizontal stripes, thanked god I just cut my hair into a bob, and broke out my favorite cheese board. Now, trying to keep in theme with "fig week" I figured this the perfect time to make my absolute favorite fig jam. It's savory, delicious, and pretty quick to make. It also calls for dried figs, so you can make it any time of the year. I actually made this recipe for our engagement party (almost 2 years ago- gasp!) and it was quite a hit!

a modest cheese board for two with savory fig jam

3 tablespoons minced shallots
2 fresh thyme sprigs plus 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 small bay leaf

1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup dried black mission figs
3/4 cup port
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Cook shallot, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf in butter in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring, until shallot is softened, about 2 minutes. Add dried figs, Port, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer, covered, until figs are soft, about 10 minutes. If there is still liquid in saucepan, remove lid and simmer, stirring, until most of liquid is evaporated, 3 to 4 minutes more. Discard bay leaf and thyme sprigs and transfer jam to a bowl. Cool, then stir in minced thyme and salt and pepper to taste.

Serve on toast, make crostinis, or put a dollop of it right on a cheese board like I did. 

Au revoir!

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