Well, it's been far too long, hasn't it? Fortunately for my bank balance, I've had quite a bit of freelance work come my way recently; however, unfortunately for my blog, it's meant I've had very little free time.
I also haven't had much time to experiment in la cucina - that's not to say I've been idle; old favourites have been trotted out....and by that, I do mean old favourites. For example, I have very fond memories of the shepherd's pies my mother's mother (my English Nan) used to make me, as I'm sure, do my children of the ones I used to make for them, but we don't eat meat in this house, so I used Quorn instead, and it turned out wonderful! If anyone is interested, I'll happily blog the recipe.
On the few occasions recently when I've had time to play, I've had mixed results; from the positively orgasmic (or mouthf**k as one friend declared!), to the running-around-looking-for-the-fire-extinguisher-because-I'd-gone-overboard-with-the-harissa! (Hey, I'm half-Venetian, not Moroccan!)
Fichi al forno con scalogno caramellato e Dolcelatte (Baked figs with caramelised shallots and Dolcelatte)
Nutritional values per person:
(Please note that these are based on the ingredients I used - your own may be slightly different)
For two people:
4 large fresh figs (around 260g in total)
30g Dolcelatte (or Gorgonzola dolce)
45ml cider vinegar
1tbsp good olive oil
Pinch sea salt
Dash freshly ground black pepper
You will also need baking parchment, foil and a small baking tin or dish, and to pre-heat your oven to around 200c.
1. Peel and chop the shallots - how finely you chop them is up to you.
2. Spread the shallots in a small roasting tin or dish lined with baking parchment - the vessel should be just large enough to hold them.
3. Pour over the vinegar and oil, season and cover tightly with foil.
4. Bake for around 20 minutes, until the shallots are just starting to caramelise. Remove the foil, stir the shallots, and then return to the oven for a further 10 minutes or so. Do check on them though - you don't want them to go crispy!
5. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool slightly.
6. Make cross-ways incisions in each fig, and then squeeze from the bottom to open the figs out.
7. Into each fig, place a spoonful of caramelised shallots and a cube of Dolcelatte.
8. Place the figs in the oven dish, add a scant sprinkle of black pepper.
9. Place in the oven for 7-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and the figs are warm. Again, keep an eye on the proceedings though!
10. Remove from oven, enjoy!