Saturday, March 21, 2009

Saganaki with Peppered Figs

Yasmeen from Healthnut is hosting Weekend Herb Blogging and this week I have dried baby Turkish figs to enjoy

dried baby Turkish figs© by Haalo

It's probably been only a few years since these bite sized versions hit our shores but they have certainly proved to be exceedingly popular. When purchasing though, you need to make sure you are getting the freshest versions - they can go hard with time so it's important to give them a bit of a feel to make sure they are still soft.

Nutritionally, Dried Figs are high in Vitamin K - Vitamin K is a clotting agent and is thought to help with maintaining good bone density.

This week I'll be using these figs in an usual manner. Since having a dish of Saganaki with Peppered Figs at Hellenic Republic, not only have I been dreaming about it, I've been dying to make it myself and luckily I came across George's recipe for the dish...and the rest is history.

Saganaki with Peppered Figs© by Haalo


Saganaki with Peppered Figs

Kasseri (Kefalotyri or Kefalograviera), sliced

Peppered Figs
250 grams dried baby Turkish figs (or your favourite dried Fig)
40 grams honey
25mls balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1 vanilla pod, sliced open & seeds removed
10 cloves
water


Make the peppered figs:

When using whole cloves I always count them - this makes removing them at the end a lot easier and you won't have any "nasty" surprises when it comes to enjoying the dish.

Put the figs, honey, balsamic, pepper, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, cloves, vanilla pod & seeds into a pan. Top with enough water to cover the ingredients.

Cut out a piece of baking paper just big enough to fit inside the pot and press it against the liquid. Simmer over a low heat until the figs have softened and the liquid has reduced.

If you find the liquid hasn't reached that syrupy level by the time the figs are done, remove the figs, increase the heat and let the mix rapidly bubble until syrupy. Return the figs to pan, stir well and remove from the heat.

peppered figs© by Haalo

You can store them in a sealed container in the fridge - reheat when you are ready to use them.

Cook the saganaki:

Place a little plain flour into a dish - toss the cheese slice in flour, brushing off the excess.

Lightly oil a heavy-based non-stick or cast-iron skillet - place over medium heat. When well heated, place the cheese slice in the pan. When you see the edges are bubbling and have started to soften, carefully turn it over. The cheese should be golden. When the other side is done, top with the heated peppered figs and serve at once.

The cheese will harden as it cools so it is best to serve it in the dish it was cooked to retain as much heat as possible.

Saganaki with Peppered Figs© by Haalo

The combination of sweet, fragrant and peppery figs is just a magical combination and served with saganaki it truly is one of those great dishes.


16 comments:

  1. How unusual and utterly yumminess inducing! I am bookmarking this!

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  2. MMMMMMMMMMM....Haalo! I love it!! yum yum!!

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  3. Since I can't get fresh figs yet in NJ, I am making this with dried figs!
    The flavors sound wonderful!
    I will let you know how it turns out!
    Thanks!

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  4. I love figs. I'll be in Turkey in October and can't wait to shop in the markets there for dried fruits. I will return to this recipe after my trip when I have real Turkish figs in my kitchen! This looks delicious.

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  5. sounds lovely, what a creative combination!

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  6. Amazing...simply amazing. Okay, now at the risk of sounding very 'uninformed'...what is this saganaki...some kind of fried cheese right? Where would one get it? Is it like Paneer?

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  7. Thanks Sneh - hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

    Thanks Sophie!

    Thanks Stacey - the dish is meant for dried figs, not sure how it would work with fresh figs

    Thanks Victoria - sounds like you're going to have a wonderfully delicious trip

    Thanks Holler!

    Thanks Trish - Saganaki is the name given to a Greek dish of fried cheese, the types of appropriate cheese are listed in the recipe - these are Kasseri, Kefalotyri or Kefalograviera. You also might find suitable cheese labelled as Saganaki Cheese

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  8. Those figs look so gorgeous,all plumped up.The cheese sounds exotic,and I bet these will be just as delicious with pancakes or crepes,I'm gonna try these for breakfast someday soon:).And thanks Haalo for allowing me to host WHB this week:)

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  9. I am absolutely drooling over this recipe! I also read that in America if the cheeses that you suggest are unavailable that you can substitute Colby or Mild Cheddar, is that right? I really want to make this.

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  10. This looks so delicious! I bet it will work well with halloumi, which I know I can find.

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  11. Wow! Your photography is just beautiful. As a relatively new food blogger myself, I find your blog very inspiring.

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  12. Thanks Yasmeen - it's been great to have you host!

    Thanks Danielle - Halloumi would be a more appropriate alternative and probably more easily available than the other cheeses

    Thanks Maggie - halloumi would be ideal

    Thanks Mish, that's very kind of you!

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  13. Wow - this looks amazing. Thanks for sharing - i'll have to pull this recipe out when i want to impress.

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  14. had this a few weeks ago at Hellenic Republic - googled and found this. It was just as awesome as at the restaurant. cheers!

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  15. Wow thanks for posting this! I had it originally at Hellenic Republic and was hunting down the recipe. This is so good! I struggled to get the sauce to go syrupy so I cut the figs in half and the inside of the figs thickened the sauce up a bit. So good.

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