Saturday, May 26, 2012

Fig Salami

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
This week we have 2 seasonal recipes, both from the internet, both found and tested by Monica. Fig Salami is a two-part post from the Kitchn: making the salami; report on the finished product.

1 pound of dried Mission figs
1 bottle (750 ml) of red wine
zest of half an orange
2 sprigs of rosemary
1 heaping tablespoon of mulled wine spices, tied in a cheesecloth sachet
1 cup toasted walnut pieces

Combine the figs, wine, orange zest, rosemary, and spices in a non-reactive (glass or ceramic) pitcher. The original recipe calls for a mulled wine spice mix from the Spice House which was made with cassia cinnamon bark, allspice, cloves, cassia buds, cardamom, and mace, but Monica made her own and so can you. Cover with a tight-fitting lid (if your pitcher has one) or some plastic wrap and let it sit on the counter for three days. Or you can put it in the fridge, like Monica did.

After three days, the figs should be plump and nicely scented. Then remove the rosemary, zest, spices and excess wine (save the wine — it's pretty tasty!), and grind the soaked figs into a semi-smooth paste in the food processor, adding one teaspoon each of salt and black pepper. Mix in one cup of toasted walnuts by hand, divide the mixture into four sections, and roll them into sausage shapes. Dust with powdered sugar and wrap with cheesecloth to age for 2 weeks to a month in the fridge. Monica suggested testing it after 2 weeks — she waited a month and they were pretty dry. Also, you might try wrapping them loosely in parchment — Monica says the cheesecloth did stick in places.

That's the basic recipe, but I want to do some more experimentation — maybe an apricot-almond salami or a dried pear-pistachio, need I go on?