It’s been a busy week, what with Nahid’s birthday BBQ, the fourth of July celebrations and getting ready for the Supper Club. I don’t know how other bloggers do it.
Nahid’s Birthday BBQ was one of those magical times: when all elements conspire to create an enchanted night–friends, family and food. The night was perfect. Nahid was surrounded by her brother and very best friends.
The beef ribs that were marinating when I last wrote where a huge, huge hit. I think these are now a summer standard.
I also grilled some chicken, tomatoes, asparagus and rice balls or yaki onigiri.
These babies are easy to make and go well if you’re grilling.
- 2 cups Glutenous rice
- 2 cups water
- Cook rice, cool shape into balls with wet hands
- baste rice balls with a soy sauce, oil mixture
- Grill on the far edges of the grill where it’s cooler.
Nahid isn’t one for sweets. And, if you recall my “fresh fig panic of 2011” when I was desperately trying to create an alternative for the fresh fig amuse bouche we were making for our Supper Club. Even if you didn’t read that post, suffice it to say that there were an over abundance of once dried figs soaking it up in a vodka simple syrup in the refrigerator. My thought, “why not use them?” So I went back to one of my favorites and created this for Ms. N’s birthday “cake”: A fresh fig tart. Here’s how we ended an absolutely enchanting evening–friends and food until it was the fourth.
- 10-12 fresh figs-choose your favorite
- 1/2 cup mascarpone or cream whipped
- 10 dried figs, boiled
- 1/4 vodka
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 water
- tart dough (see ingredients and process below)
- 1/2-3/4 cup ground hazel nuts
- Boil vodka, sugar and water in medium sauce pan. Add dried figs to liquid. Cover and let stand until figs are soft and plump.
- When macerated figs are cool, place in food processor and puree. Use the liquid to thin out the pureed figs to a spreading consistency.
- 1/4 lbs cold unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- pinch of kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cup of flour
- 6 tablespoons heavy cream (you can substitute milk or half and half)
- 1/2-3/4 cup ground hazel nuts
- flour for dusting
- Place dry ingredients in bowl of food processor. Pulse a few times
- Cut butter into cubes. Add to dry ingredients and pulse a few times until it looks like course corn meal.
- Add cream in a stream while pulsing. Continue to pulse until the mixture just starts to come together. Do not over mix.
- Dust your rolling area with a combo of ground hazelnuts and flour. Place dough on top. Dust with more hazelnuts and flour.
- Roll and place in 9″ tart pan.
- Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- Bake in 350 over for 15-20 minutes or until brown at the edges. Cool
- Remove tart shell from pan onto serving plate.
- Spread a layer of the pureed figs on the bottom of the tart.
- Spread a layer of mascarpone (or whipped cream) on top of the puree layer
- Trim stems off of fresh figs. Cut into quarters.
- Starting on the outer rim of the tart shell place figs pieces. Continue moving in concentric circles until the tart is covered
- Put left over mascarpone (whipped cream) in pastry bag. place dots on top of figs.
Louise Mellor says
Happy B-lated Birthday Nahid… vodka infused figs? sounds like a party to me! Hope you are enjoying your summer…
Amazing looking tart! Guess I know what to do with the next basket of figs I buy!