Grilled Cheese and Fig for Lunch

 

With company last weekend, I needed a quick but tasty lunch. Figs were plentiful in my garden so how to use them. I never make sandwiches, well hardly ever. Grilled cheese; honestly I just never think of it; so little sliced bread hanging out in my kitchen.  But, for some reason it was what I wanted. I made a simple grilled cheese using Aldi’s multigrain bread as the base. I sliced mild cheddar cheese, slathered one side with some brown mustard. The secret ingredient was a couple of ripe brown figs sliced thinly added before the grilling. The cheese got gooey and the figs softened even more. It was delicate and delicious. Use the cheese you prefer as long as it is good quality; no plastic cheese!  Ditto as to your bread. My choice bought at my local Aldi’s worked perfectly. Ditch the mustard if you wish. I used it in moderation; you don’t want it to be the prevalent flavor. This is a fig and cheese symphony!

grilled cheese

Grilled Cheese and Fig

 

2 slices gluten free sandwich bread

1 tsp brown mustard

2 tsp. butter

Enough cheddar cheese to make a solid layer on one slice of bread, like 5 chunks

2-3 ripe figs.

Directions: Super easy, super quick. I use a Teflon grill pan; melt 1-2 tsp. of salted butter; lay out the two slices; one plain and one with the mustard topped with cheese slices and topped with thinly fig.  When the bottom (you gotta peek!) is browned gently lift the solo slice and carefully place it on top. I like to put a domed lid over it and cook another minute on low heat to cement the two parts into one delish sandwich. Slice in half on the diagonal and enjoy!

 

 

Figgy Salad

983D3402-BB56-4CBD-A5FE-8FBF39114F6EFigs in my salad? Yes, please! Just throw together a simple salad and add a few fresh figs cit in chunks. Delicious.

FiggySalad – for one

slice a dozen rounds of European burpless cucumber

1/2 cup fennel, thinly sliced

6 cherry or grape tomatoes

3-4 ripe brown turkey figs

a handful of fresh salad greens like arugula, frisse or butter gteens

Place the greens on salad plates. Top with cucumber slices, fennel slices, tomatoes and figs cut in halves or quarters depending on size.

Then sprinkle with your favorite vinaigrette salad dressing. Delightful!

 

 

 

 

 

Fig, Goat Cheese, Pancetta and Carmelized Onion Pizza

I have been picking dozens of figs most days in recent weeks. Getting creative in my cooking in order to use up this bounty and so I’m enjoying them in lots of new dishes. Pinterest is my closest bud these joyous weeks of fig festival in my tiny kitchen. Last Friday I whipped up my favorite gf pizza dough baked it for ten minutes and flipped it. Then came the toppings. Never had figs on a pizza, but won’t be the last time! My fridge held some pancetta which is uncured Italian bacon that was purchased at Aldi’s for a rediculously low price, as was a container of tiny fresh mozzarella and a log of herbed goat cheese. Some onions which I carmelized and Bam! My oven produced an amazing treat for supper. I felt like I was in Italy at a small restaurant enjoying the local fare!

Note to all, my computer croaked the end of last week so I am typing one finger on my tablet, no access to Word either. So my apologies for any and all  mistakes in my last post or in this one. Normally I am constantly double checking names, products and prior posts as I create a new post. Not so much of that here in this laborious tablet production.

I promise this pizza is going to change your taste buds into fig pizza lovers. One more great fig recipe discovery. I took elements out of several recipes to create this delightful dish. It went together really quickly. Enjoy!

PS, it was still great warmed up the next day but with two or three hungry folks, there won’t be any leftovers.

 

Angie’s Fig and Goat Cheese Pizza

one large gf pizza crust. See my previous pizza post or use your own recipe.

8-12 ripe fresh brown figs

4 oz. herbed goat cheese, Aldi’s has a great goat cheese at a super price

most of a pint container of fresh tiny mozzarella cheese balls

2 good sized onions

1 Tbsp. EVOL

2-3 ounces pancetta, Aldi’s has a small container, already chopped

a big handful of kale shredded finely

Directions

Slice the onions into rounds. Heat EVOL in a cast iron frying pan, add onion slices. Cook over medium low heat stirring often so it doesn’t burn. Cook 8 -15 minutes until carmelized. Set aside on a plate. Add pancetta to same frying pan and cook a few minutes to render out the fat. Do not overcook. Remove from pan to a small bowl. Add the kale to the frying pan and cook on low a few minutes until it wilts, stir often. Let cool.

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Slice the goat cheese into thin rounds, cut the mozzarella balls in half. Slice the figs in half or quarter them if large.

Assemble: spread the carmelized onions evenly over the partially baked crust. I like to flip the crust before topping. Spread the goat cheese slices evenly over the surface,  Scatter the mozzarella cheese between the goat cheese and top with the cooked pancetta. Then scatter the fig pieces evenly over it.  Evenly is so every slice has a decent amount of both cheeses and the other components.

65E9A88F-5495-46E1-9F79-38851BC15477

Bake pizza 8-10 minutes. Scatter kale over the top. Let stand 3-5 minutes before slicing and serving. If you can stand that long of a wait to enjoy your masterpiece of a pizza!CFF4F2B8-6D22-4AE6-94C7-A13B6222B266

 

Fig and Goat Cheese Galette

Figs are delightful in the late summer and early fall. This year my fig trees are full of fruit with several dozen figs ripening over about two week’s time. Lately I pick 2-3 dozen every day or two. I made a super delicious fig and yogurt cake the other weekend. Next I put together a figgy dessert in the tart family.  This is my take on the wide variety of fig and custard/honey/cheese tart recipes. FYI: a galette is a free form flat round French tart. Now you know! One of my friends was all “wow you cook stuff I have never heard of and did your mom cook like that?” My response was “nope; Mom never baked a galette. But she was a great cook and I just love trying new things. ” I truly love galettes as they are so easy; just roll out the dough; lay on the filling; crimp up the edges and maybe a bit of egg wash and a sprinkle of sugar and into the oven it goes. Plus I like how they generally aren’t that sweet or tricked out with a ton of ingredients. Simple, tasty, and pretty to look at.  Dessert perfection…

I used my favorite gluten free crust recipe plus some cinnamon.  This crust never fails to impress; it is flaky and tender. Never tough or too buttery. Sweet juicy figs are the bomb! Finally, the herbed goat cheese added an intriguing slightly savory flavor to the overall taste. A big slice was just delicious with a glass of lemony iced tea. Enjoy!

 

 

Fig and Goat Cheese Galette

Crust:

1 c plus 2 tbsp brown rice flour mix (at bottom of recipe)

2 tbsp sweet rice flour

1 Tbps. granulated sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

¼-½ tsp. cinnamon

6 Tbps. cold butter cut into 6 chunks

1 lg egg

2 tsp fresh lemon juice (use juice from zested lemon; below)

Line a 15 inch pizza pan with parchment paper.

Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand electric mixer.  Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembling coarse meal.  Add egg and juice.  Mix until it comes together into big chunks.  Shape into a ball with your hands. Put it on a crust sized piece of wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), flatten the crust ball some; put on top of it another piece of wax paper and chill it all in your fridge 15-20 minutes.  Then roll out and put on the parchment lined pan; put back in the fridge while you prepare the filling.

Goat Cheese filling:

4 oz package herbed goat cheese, room tem

2 oz light or regular cream cheese, room temp.

2 tbsp. local honey (good stuff)

1 egg beaten well, mix in 1 tsp. water

2 tsp. rough brown crystal sugar for topping

Fruit part:

7-9 ounces of ripe figs: 8-10 large or maybe 14-16 small

Directions: Zest a small lemon. I do this onto wax paper for ease of picking up later. Use some of the juice for the crust.  You can leave the zest out if you are not a big fan.  You do need the juice in the crust; can use fresh squeezed OJ too.

Get out the tart crust and roll out to a large circle. Place on the parchment paper; I unpeeled one side of the rolling plastic and flopped the whole thing onto the parchment and then peeled off the other side of plastic leaving the crust on the parchment. Blend the goat cheese, cream cheese and honey using a whisk. Add half the beaten egg, beat some more until well blended Spread the mixture out on the crust.  Leave 1.5-2 inches of crust around the filling. Top with halved or quartered figs; mine were small; halved them, cut side up. Fold up the edges of your crust and pinch together to create the galette shape.  Use a pastry brush to brush the crust with the remaining egg wash. Sprinkle the sugar crystals over the crust and some on the figs. fig galette with sugar sprinkled onBake for 30 minutes in a 400 degree oven. Sprinkle the lemon zest on before you bake it or half way through the baking.  Let your tart rest a bit on a cooling rack; don’t serve hot but a slightly warm slice will taste amazing.  It was still great the next day although the crust wasn’t quite as crisp due to high humidity. Enjoy!

fig galette baked

 

Brown Rice Flour Mix (same as King Arthur basic gf blend)

2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch – not potato flour!

1/3 c tapioca flour

fig galette slice

The crust recipe is from Annalise Roberts great cookbook, GF Baking Classics, Second Edition.

Fig and Raspberry Galette

Figs are a favorite of mine in the fall. Pricy though. This year my fig trees came through with several dozen figs over about a months time. Some were stuffed with goat cheese and drizzled with honey, and eaten raw.  Some were roasted briefly with that same yummy cheese. Heavenly.  A lot were just popped in my mouth for a sweet treat.  I made a super delicious fig and yogurt cake last weekend. Now for a fig based dessert in the pie family.  Saw this recipe on Tasting Table a while ago and immediately knew I just had to make it. FYI: a galette is a free form flat round French tart. Now you know!

I used my favorite gluten free crust recipe plus some cinnamon.  Lacking almond paste I made some; see my blog post for that recipe: https://myworldwithoutwheat.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/almond-paste-holiday-joy/.  The filling was fairly close to the recipe. You might think the thyme leaves and honey unusual but trust me it is just perfection!  If you love figs or raspberries this is an outstanding and show stopping dessert.

 

Fig and Raspberry Galette

Crust:

1 c plus 2 tbsp brown rice flour mix (at bottom of recipe)

2 tbsp sweet rice flour

1 Tbps. granulated sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

½ tsp. cinnamon

6 Tbps. cold butter cut into 6 chunks

1 lg egg

2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

Line a 15 inch pizza pan with parchment paper.

Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand electric mixer.  Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembling coarse meal.  Add egg and juice.  Mix until it comes together into big chunks.  Shape into a ball with your hands. Put it on a crust sized piece of wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), flatten the crust ball some; put on top of it another piece of wax paper and chill it all in your fridge 15-20 minutes.  Then roll out and put on the parchment lined pan; put back in the fridge while you prepare the filling.

Frangipane filling:

1/3 cup almond paste

2 tsp. sugar

2 tbsp. butter

1 tsp. gf flour

1 egg

½ tsp. black berry brandy or kirsch

Pinch of salt

Fruit part:

6-7 ounces of ripe figs: 8 large or maybe 10 small

5-6 ounces fresh raspberries

1 -2 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped

2 tsp. honey

1 tsp. orange or tangerine zest (I used tangerine)

1 beaten egg for washing

1 cup crème fraiche or organic plain yogurt or plain Greek yogurt

Directions: Combine the almond paste and sugar in a small food processor, process until broken up into sandlike mess.  Add the butter and process until blended.  Add flour, egg, brandy and salt.  Process some more.  Chill in fridge while you continue tart creation process.

Chop the thyme (remove all stems).  Zest a tangerine or half an orange’s skin. I do this onto wax paper for ease of picking up later.

Get out the tart crust and the almond mixture. Spread the frangipane out; I just dumped mine in the center of the crust and it spread on its own.  Leave 1.5-2 inches of crust around the filling. Top with halved or quartered figs; mine were small; halved them. Next sprinkle the raspberries around; I didn’t need the full 6 ounces.  Sprinkle on the sugar, thyme leaves, then drizzle with honey and dust the zest over it as evenly as possible. Fold up the edges of your crust and pinch together to create the galette shape.  Use a pastry brush to brush the crust with the egg wash.  Bake for 30 minutes in a 425 degree oven.  Mine got a little too brown on the bottom.  Next time I will turn it down to 400 after the first 15 minutes.   Let your tart rest a bit; don’t serve hot but a warm slice will be awesome.  Slice and top with a big dollop of crème or yogurt.

fig-galette-slice

Brown Rice Flour Mix (same as King Arthur basic gf blend)

2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch – not potato flour!

1/3 c tapioca flour

The crust recipe is from Annalise Roberts great cookbook, GF Baking Classics, Second Edition.

Turkish Fig and Yogurt Cake

We enjoyed the most amazing cake last night.  I used 12 of my own homegrown figs in it.  chicken-gumbo-002Some sugar, lots of Greek yogurt, some eggs, some flavorings and very little flour.  It was very easy to put together; sort of like making a soufflé. I mixed the yolks with the sugar and then the flour added in bit by bit with a whisk.  My stand mixer made the egg whites into fluff and I folded them into the yolk/sugar mixture.  Spooned into a buttered cheesecake pan and laid the cut halves of the figs into the batter. Bake it and BOOM; an amazing dessert fit for a king and queen!  It does puff up a lot as it bakes; don’t worry; it will sink somewhat; can’t stay puffed when it is cooled.

The flavor was a lemony, fluffy light cake but the figs were the star attraction.  If you like figs; this is your cake!

The recipe is from fearless dining: here is a link to the original I used to create my cake.  http://www.fearlessdining.com/recipe/gluten-free-turkish-fig-yogurt-cake/.

I made only a couple of changes to fit what I had in my pantry.  This is a spectacular cake to serve to company. Just need those fresh figs and some yogurt. I got mine at Aldi’s.  Their store brand Greek yogurt in a big size has wonderful flavor and texture.

 

Turkish Fig and Yogurt Cake

Ingredients   (at room temperature)

4 eggs, separated

½ tsp. cream of tarter

½ cup sugar

3 tbsp. gf flour – I used King Arthur blend

½ tsp. xanthan gum (leave out if your flour has some in it already)

1 tsp. lemon or orange extract

1 tsp. water

1/2 tsp. lemon zest

½ tsp. orange or tangerine zest (if you don’t have orange extract)

1 ½ cup Greek yogurt, plain

7-12 figs (big ones; only 7, small; use more) Halved

A tsp. of butter for greasing the pan

A bit of powdered sugar to sift on top

Directions:  see the original post for directions –  http://www.fearlessdining.com/recipe/gluten-free-turkish-fig-yogurt-cake/.fig-cake-006

Fresh Figs with Goat Cheese

Fresh figs, gotta say I have a bit of an obsession with them.  Have had it for most of my life; my dad adored them and we had a fig tree by the house, not that it ever got that many ripe figs on it.  Once he took me to meet the old Italian lady who gave him the fig bush, Mrs. Almada.  She was ancient but friendly and her fig tree was pretty impressive.  I remember buying fresh figs when I was just married in my early 20’s; saw them in the supermarket and had to have a package of six to enjoy, no matter the cost. Dried figs taste okay but fresh figs are amazing.                             fig-bush                                   white_kadota_fig_tree

So, many years ago after buying a house and starting to garden…I planted some fig trees. I have 3-4 different varieties.  Not sure why they are called trees as they are really more of a bush.  Well, here in Pennsylvania that is the case.  When I looked at pictures of fig trees from other places they were actually trees! Here they tend to die to the ground or near it so they never get that big or form a true tree shape.

Anyway, not that many ripe figs on my trees over the years; a few here and there and most falls a couple nearly ripe ones I eat anyway despite their somewhat poor under ripe flavor.   This hot hot summer, my bush branches are mostly full of figs and they are ripening! Wonderful. I picked one or two a couple of weeks ago, then 3 then 5 last weekend and then 7 today.  Eating them out of hand is is really tasty but so many figs ripening…needed another way to enjoy them.  figs-flowers-018

Saw this recipe for figs with goat cheese and honey. http://www.flavourandsavour.com/fresh-figs-goat-cheese-honey/

Simple yet elegant if sticky! Great light appetizer in September.

fresh-figs-with-goat-cheese

Recipe: This is approximate.  Cut each fig across in an x but don’t cut all the way to the bottom.  Put a tsp. of goat cheese; I used some with herbs in it…put that cheese in the center of the cut fig.  Drizzle a tsp. of honey over 5-6 of them.  The recipe said to sprinkle with black pepper or lavender seeds. I skipped that part.  Let me know if you try either.  I did eat one without the honey; not as good, the goat cheese needs that honey to sweeten it to the tastiest bite. An after note: I tried some floral black pepper from Trader Joe’s on them the other night and it was very good; if you have some of that pepper give it a go; yummers!

Recently I found a recipe for a gluten free fig and Greek yogurt cake.  Just need a few more ripe figs and you better believe I will be baking one.

If you don’t have fig bushes, check in the fresh fruit section of your grocery store for fresh figs. Yummy and good for you too. They are full of nutrients and are a great sorce of fiber – important for those of us who are gluten free.  Enjoy!