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Best use for "blah" dried figs?

corgette Mar 17, 2008 12:42 PM

Hi all. I'm a fan of the sweet, flavorful, chewy dried figs I've been getting at Sahadi's in Brooklyn, and thought I'd save some money by getting the cheaper dried mission figs at Trader Joe's. This was a mistake since they're relatively flavorless and lack the sweet fig punch most recipes make good use of.

So, I ask: what recipes will make these worth eating? I'm leaning towards a baked item of some sort, but with lemon, or cinnamon, or somesuch to make these worth it.

I've seen savory recipes for roast pork and such but I dont' cook a lot of meat, so if you have a good savory dish that's vegetarian, I'm all ears.

Or, honestly, should I just toss them? Thank you.

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  1. jfood RE: corgette Mar 17, 2008 12:53 PM

    jfood has no iea whether this would work but he tatsed a great dish with figs the other night if you could reconstitute. It was a soanish tapas place and he ordered some chirozo with figs in a balsamic sauce. It was outstanding.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jfood
      corgette RE: jfood Mar 17, 2008 01:00 PM

      That actually sounds delicious. I looked up a few recipes with figs and chorizo, and I could probably improvise based on that and your balsamic suggestion. I'm not a big cooker of meat, so I'm not sure I could do it justice, but it'll be on the list. Thanks!

    2. DanaB RE: corgette Mar 17, 2008 01:01 PM

      I've made the attached recipe for a Pesto, Fig and Mascarpone Torte with dried figs (that have been reconstituted) and it worked out well. Since the recipe also calls for fig preserves, any lack in flavor in your dried figs will be less noticeable.


      1. h
        harryharry RE: corgette Mar 17, 2008 01:05 PM

        Cut a little slit - fill with gorgonzola dolce - refigerate, then bake at 400 as is or wrap with prosciutto - drizzle with balsamic glaze - very yummy

        1. a
          abud RE: corgette Mar 17, 2008 01:05 PM

          This is a killer dessert--figs and dried cherries poached in vanilla-honey syrup with pistachios. Not sure if using mission figs will change it much. I have been eating with greek yogurt. Don't forget the nuts. It's so so so so good.


          1 Reply
          1. re: abud
            KingsKetz RE: abud Mar 17, 2008 08:03 PM

            Thank you, thank you, thank you....that sounds like I died and went to heaven. Even if it has nuts! You may have changed my life. Thank you - or did I say that already???

          2. c
            corgette RE: corgette Mar 17, 2008 01:47 PM

            These all sound like they can make my figs actually fantastic. Thanks, all! I think I'm going to try to bake half with goat cheese and use the other half to make the dried cherry-fig compote.

            I'm now actually excited to cook these. Thanks, again. :)

            2 Replies
            1. re: corgette
              JalamaMama RE: corgette Mar 17, 2008 02:16 PM

              We love the figs from TJ-s, and my favorite use for them is balsamic fig relish...So good.

              Dried figs chopped, in a pan juice up with balsamic vinegar (not enough to cover- enough to wet) smashed/chopped garlic- cook. Add thyme and red onion and cook a little more, healthy swig of O/O, salt and pepper, maybe a little red onion. Roasted chopped walnuts. YUM.

              1. re: JalamaMama
                toodie jane RE: JalamaMama Mar 19, 2008 05:51 PM

                yow! how do you use it other than on crackers?

            2. l
              lgss RE: corgette Mar 17, 2008 07:16 PM

              There's a recipe for greens and polenta with balsamic fig sauce in the Cafe Flora cookbook. We made it for Thanksgiving for my omnivore brother and sister-in-law. We've (well my husband does most of the work) also made homemade, gluten-free fig bars for the holidays for the past two years.

              1. goodhealthgourmet RE: corgette Mar 17, 2008 07:21 PM

                sounds like you found ways to use them up, but if it ever happens again, i puree them and mix into muffin batter with cardamom, lemon zest, and sliced almonds. the flavor combination is fantastic.

                2 Replies
                1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                  corgette RE: goodhealthgourmet Mar 17, 2008 07:31 PM

                  Oooh, I never thought to put them with cardamom. The lemon and almonds sounds great as well.

                  1. re: corgette
                    goodhealthgourmet RE: corgette Mar 18, 2008 12:28 PM

                    it's an amazing combination. everyone who tries the muffins flips out over them...and no one has ever been able to identify that secret ingredient - the cardamom :)

                2. RUNNERFEMME RE: corgette Mar 20, 2008 06:08 AM

                  I do this for a quick breakfast: soak the figs in really hot tap water (just enough to cover) for a few minutes; pinch off the stem; mash/chop them (I whir them for a few seconds in my mini cuisinart) and stir them into good Greek yogurt; a little honey or good quality maple syrup and you're set. My husband loves this.

                  1. g
                    glutton RE: corgette Mar 20, 2008 05:07 PM

                    Perhaps I'm taking a tangent... What else can you buy at Sahadi's? I'll be in brooklyn next week and might stop by because I love dried fruits, nuts, etc. Is Sahadi's worth going out of my way for?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: glutton
                      abud RE: glutton Mar 21, 2008 03:43 AM

                      Check out the lebanese olive oils. They are excellent.

                      1. re: glutton
                        corgette RE: glutton Mar 21, 2008 05:05 AM

                        I think Sahadi's is worth a trip for, but I work close by, so I'm biased. If you don't have to lug everything home and can get car service, they have a decent selection of cheese for a good price, plus all sorts of flours.

                        What I load up on, though, are spices. They have the cheapest spices of everyone around.

                      2. k
                        KRS RE: corgette Mar 20, 2008 05:53 PM

                        All nice recipes, but you can't redeem bad ingredients, particularly things like figs, which are used in small quantities to give a strong character to a dish. Throw them out and get decent ones at Sahadi or Russ & Daughters. I got completely tasteless dried apricots from Kalustyans and spoiled an organic chicken I was really looking forward to.

                        glutton - at Sahadi, I particularly like kalamata olives, Bulgarian creamy feta and the pistachios that come in 3-pound bags to the right of the central area as you enter. The breads just before the cash registers are superior, especially the slim onion ficelles. The halava is amazing. The have a great price on BR Cohn olive oil, which is perfect for dipping slices of ficelle. The regular oil is better flavored than the higher priced organic.

                        1. Karl S RE: corgette Mar 20, 2008 07:08 PM

                          You can poach them in sugar syrup that is infused with tea, crystallized ginger and orange/tangerine peel. Let cool to room temp before refrigerating in the poaching syrup - they keep for a long time and are a wonderful garnish. The best way to get the texture of fresh from dried figs.

                          1. litchick RE: corgette Mar 20, 2008 07:09 PM

                            Don't toss 'em. Tipsy 'em! Put the figs in a jar, cover them with with a mix of brandy and whatever else you like -- I go for rum, or grand marinier, or bourbon... etc. Some lemon or orange zest is also a nice touch. If you like them sweet, add some simple syrup as well. Let them sit in the fridge for a day or more. This is will turn even the blah-est dried figs into lovely accompaniments to a cheese course, or dessert item, or ice cream.

                            1. l
                              lgss RE: corgette Mar 21, 2008 12:49 PM

                              We've made fig fudge and added figs to our morning smoothies.

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