07-01-08 - 3

Yay, fig season is upon us! I adore figs, I like how they can go either sweet or savory. I don't really like them raw, but you can sear them for just a second or two and it develops the starches into delicious sugars.

Quick fig compote on yogurt with walnuts and honey (+ granola optional).

Seared figs / fig chutney on pork chops.

Caramelized figs with balsamic reduction on chevre toasted Tartine bread. I had this amazing baked chevre on toast once in France and I've never been able to reproduce it. The cheese was just in a big hunk on a piece of bread, but it was cooked so that the outside of the cheese caramelized and browned, while the inside just got slightly melty but still had the sort of pasty raw chevre consistency. Any time I try it in a home oven or broiler, in order to brown the outside it completely melts the cheese, which is no good. I think perhaps the secret is a super hot wood fired oven. Another possibility might be a very thin glaze of something on the cheese to encourage the brown crust to form.

It would be pretty sweet to have a restaurant style Salamander. Being able to control the distance of the flame to the food is so useful. I made some amazing steak the last time we went camping, and the key was the shitty camp grill actually has a height adjustable grate. You can let the coals get hot, let the flames die, and then lower the grate almost right onto the coals so it's blazing hot. So much better than the shitty Webers we all have at home.

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