Figs Far From Scary This Halloween Weekend
FRESNO, Calif., Oct. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Once a fruit known only as a Newton, California figs are quickly becoming the darling of cooking shows nationwide. In less than two years, figs have taken center stage on the Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” and PBS favorite “Creative Living with Sheryl Borden.” This weekend, California figs will star in the popular “Bringing It Home with Laura McIntosh,” a show which focuses on recipe ideas from today’s most innovative chefs, combined with farm-fresh food from across the United States and beyond.
“The California fig industry is thrilled to see figs finally get the national attention they deserve,” said Karla Stockli, CEO of the California Fig Advisory Board. “Chefs have always loved the versatility and boldness figs bring to the table and home cooks don’t need to be intimidated by the delicious fruit. Fresh or dried, California figs are an elegant, nutritious and flavorful ingredient for every day cooking or entertaining.”
The episode, titled “Hearty Meals,” features four new fig recipes – Roasted California Mission Figs Stuffed with Bacon, Jalapeno Peppers and Cheese (Mission Figs Flameadeo), Brochette of Quail (Duck or Chicken) and California Mission Figs with Winter Green Salad, Rib Eye Steak with Black Pepper Mission Figs, Roasted Garlic and Thyme and Calimyrna Fig Sour Cream Cake with Caramel Cream Sauce – all created by Robert Del Grande, chef/owner of RDG + Cafe Annie (www.rdgbarannie.com) in Houston. Del Grande appears alongside McIntosh in the episode and agrees figs are an exceptional fruit.
“These days, figs are on everyone’s mind. From chefs to new product developers to home cooks, it’s the new secret ingredient,” says Del Grande. “With one bite, you can taste 1,001 possibilities for new flavors and ingredient combinations.”
“Working with Chef Del Grande and California figs in the same episode was double the fun and excitement,” says McIntosh. “I’ve always loved figs but chef opened my eyes to so many new opportunities to enjoy the delicious fruit. From sweet to savory recipes, you won’t want to miss having figs at the table this holiday season.”
Stockli also introduced McIntosh and Del Grande to California fig grower Kevin Herman who also appears on the upcoming episode. Herman is a third generation California farmer and producer of California dried and fresh figs.
The “Hearty Meals” episode featuring Del Grande, McIntosh, Herman and California figs will begin airing October 30, 2011. Tune in to “Bringing It Home with Laura McIntosh” in California every Sunday at 5pm on ABC and nationally on IonLife and Resort &Residence TV. For a complete list of show times visit www.bringingithome.com.
About California Figs
Given the fact that California produces 100 percent of the nation’s dried figs and 98 percent of the fresh figs, consumers will have no problem finding high-quality figs in retailers across the country. California Dried Figs are available year-round. They make great snacks and naturally sweet, flavorful recipe additions. The dense, sweet flesh, coupled with their unique texture go well in baked goods and desserts, and are a perfect complement to meat, poultry, fish, whole grains, other fruits, and vegetables, as well. Dried figs are ready to eat right out of the package or are easily diced and sliced. For dried fig recipes and tips, visit www.californiafigs.com.
The California Fresh Fig season starts in mid-May and continues through mid-December. California Fresh Figs are so versatile, they can be integrated into every course for family meals or used to add flare and elegance to any party or guest meal, too. Figs not only add taste and enjoyment to every course of a meal, but they can come to the table at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and in between times, too. For fresh fig recipes and tips, visit www.calfreshfigs.com.
Well-known for their flavor and texture, figs are also a nutritious addition to any diet. California Figs are an excellent source of dietary fiber. Just three to five – dried or fresh – provide five grams of dietary fiber or 20 percent of the Daily Value. Figs are also fat-, sodium-, and cholesterol-free. Ounce-for-ounce, figs provide a nutritional punch that is hard to match by any other fruit.
About “Bringing It Home with Laura McIntosh”
Fresh recipe ideas from today’s most innovative chefs, combined with farm-fresh food. Both come straight out of the field, right to your home. The key is the series’ celebrated host, Laura McIntosh. Laura travels throughout the United States and beyond. She takes viewers out to the farms that produce the most abundant and delicious crops. Then she brings them together with culinary wizards that turn this bountiful harvest into fresh, healthy, gourmet meals the whole family will enjoy. The program features recipes and ideas you can bring home. “You don’t have to spend a day hunting down specialty food stores to find exotic ingredients,” says Laura. “Our recipes are as practical as they are delicious, designed to enhance the food’s natural flavors. We keep it simple so the dishes are fun and easy to prepare.”
Rib Eye Steak with Black Pepper Mission Figs, Roasted Garlic and Thyme By Robert Del Grande, RDG + Bar Annie, Houston, TX INGREDIENTS 8 dried California Mission figs 1 bulb garlic 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper 1 lemon 1 thick-cut rib eye steak (16 to 18 ounces) Salt and freshly ground black pepper; to taste 1 bunch fresh thyme sprigs (about 1/2 cup, loosely packed)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove and discard stems from figs, and cut in half, lengthwise; place in large ovenproof pan; set aside. Separate garlic into individual unpeeled cloves, and add to pan along with figs, olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper; toss to coat well. Roast at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes or until garlic cloves are soft and fully cooked. Set aside.
Rub steak liberally on all sides with olive oil, salt and pepper. Prepare a hot charcoal fire and, over hottest part of fire, sear steak on both sides. Then, move steak to a cooler area and finish grilling, slowly, for about 5 minutes on each side for medium rare (145 degrees F internal temperature at thickest part) or 10 minutes on each side for medium (160 degrees F). Remove from grill and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.
To serve, heat 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add roasted fig and garlic mixture and carefully shake the skillet. Add thyme sprigs and toss or stir until thyme is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat; squeeze juice from lemon over all. Cut steak into thin slices and fan onto serving platter. Spoon fig mixture along with thyme sprigs and pan juices over steak; drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve at once.
Note: To oven roast the steak: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in large ovenproof skillet over high heat. Add steak and sear on both sides until nicely browned. Transfer to preheated oven and roast about 15 minutes for medium rare (145 degrees F) or a little longer for medium (160 degrees F). Remove from oven and allow to rest about 15 minutes before slicing.
For the other recipes featured on the “Bringing It Home with Laura McIntosh” fig episode, visit www.californiafigs.com.
The California Fig Advisory Board and California Fresh Fig Growers Association promote awareness and the use of California produced dried and fresh figs domestically and internationally. California fig growers, processors and marketers fund the activities of the Industry.
SOURCE California Fig Advisory Board; California Fresh Fig Growers Association