My plan today was this: blog a little, garden a little, laundry a little, read a little, homework a little. Somehow my plans never pan out. I have the entire day to accomplish so many things, and yet I cannot seem to get myself out of blogging mode today. In some ways this is refreshing, as I've been feeling a little short on ideas lately in the kitchen. Still, my list is not getting any shorter.
In the midst of my procrastination/path to inspiration, I was browsing around a website for illegal/legal foods for people suffering from Crohn's disease. (This is not something I am dealing with, but I have several family members who are). As I went down the list, the illegal foods seemed endless. Occasionally I would see something legal that I did not have in my kitchen, so I would quickly move on to the next item. I decided to try a new tactic: what do I already have in my kitchen and are those ingredients legal? Dried figs (legal), an orange (legal), white wine (legal), honey (legal), fresh thyme, basil and parsley (all legal)... What on earth could I do with those! They were all legal on the list, but what the... Wait. I got it! Light bulb moment!
The only way I remembered eating figs (aside from on their own) was in fig newtons when I was little. I was never sure if I really liked them or not. Fortunately, my appreciation for the taste of figs has developed beyond fig newton cookies. (Can one really call a newton a cookie? I'll never know the real answer to that questions. Typically if there isn't chocolate or I can't dip it in milk, I would have to say no). Although I have grown to like figs quite a lot, my knowledge of how to use them in my cooking is limited. This recipe was certainly an adventure for me.
Dried figs poached in white wine and orange juice reduction
4 large dried figs or 8 small, quartered
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup honey
zest of half an orange
1 teaspoon fresh lemon thyme leaves (or regular thyme)
small piece of parmesan cheese
In a saucepan, bring the wine to a simmer. Add the orange juice and honey and continue to simmer until reduced by half. Add the figs. Poach for 5 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, put the figs on a plate. Spoon a little more of the reduction over the top of the figs. Sprinkle with orange zest and thyme. Serve, warm or cold, with parmesan cheese.