Fig-ging Goodness

Homemade Fig Ice Cream

Good news everyone, it’s still August.  Even better news, black mission figs will be in season until late fall, yahoo!  Let’s extend our summer and transform this fruit into some fig-ing delicious ice cream. FIG-ING AMAZING (I had to use that pun, obviously).

Fig Ice Cream

Fig-ging Goodness

Are you fig-ing out yet?

We love our fro-yo but… dammit, ice cream is just SO GOOD.  This no egg-tempering recipe from Saveur is a quicker and easier alternative to the traditional French ice-cream. While still delicious, this time-saver recipe is less creamy, a tad icy, but probably better for your cholesterol levels.

I’d say this is less “Fig Ice Cream” but more like vanilla ice cream with fig compote swirls. Nothing wrong with that.  Though next time, I’m going to try and mix the fig compote into my favorite David Lebovitz’s vanilla ice cream recipe instead for a creamier finish.

Oh! This is the ice cream maker I use,I’ve had it for years, more than paid for itself with all the goodies we’ve made, and super compact to store.

Ingredients (Yields 1 Quart):

Ripe Black Mission Figs 1 lbs Stemmed and Quartered
Honey ¼ Cup
Light Brown Sugar 2 tbsp
Fresh Lemon Juice 1 ½ tbsp.
Kosher Salt 1 tsp
Cinnamon 1 Stick
Sugar ½ Cup
Egg Yolks 2
Heavy Cream 1 ½ Cup
Milk ½ Cup
Vanilla Bean 1 Pod Cut Lengthwise and Scrape out seeds
Vanilla Extract ½ tsp

Directions:

  • Bring figs, honey, brown sugar, juice, 1⁄2 tsp. salt, cinnamon, and 1⁄3 cup water to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until figs break down and mixture is thickened like jam, about 35 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Meanwhile, using a hand mixer, beat sugar and egg yolks in a bowl until pale yellow, about 5 minutes. Add remaining salt, cream, milk, vanilla extract and seeds from pod, and beat until combined.
  • Pour into an ice cream maker and carefully pour in fig sauce while churning and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Pour into storage container and then freeze for at least 6 hours to set.
Fig Compote

Fig Compote

Adapted from Saveur

Angie's Cucumber Garden

Smashing Cucumber Salad

I was chatting with my BFF the other day brainstorming on recipe ideas for the abundant supply of cucumbers from the farmers market (and her garden, thanks Angie for the header photo!!!).  Not wanting another “oh so typical” salad that would put me in chopping misery, she reminded me of this delightful little side cucumber salad commonly served in Chinese restaurants.

This super simple recipe doesn’t require a million ingredients, takes only 5 minutes to make, and splendidly highlights the crispiness of the cukes that so defines summer.  The Kirby variety is recommended since it has thin skin and crunchy flesh, its size is also perfect for the preparation process – smashing!

Smashed Cucumber Salad

Indeed, smashing is as fun and as easy as it sounds.  You can smash / smack / whack the whole cuke with a large knife (chef’s or cleaver) as demonstrated in the below Kirbie Cravings video OR cut the cukes up in quarters lengthwise, smack ’em lightly, and breaking up the whacked cukes with your hands into bite size pieces.

 If you’re looking for another great summer cucumber recipe that’s more substantial, try out our household favorite: Tahini Noodles with Chicken and Cucumber

INGREDIENTS (YIELDS 4 SIDE SERVINGS):

4 Kirby Cucumbers Smashed
1 Clove Garclic Minced
Salt ½ – 1 tsp
Sesame Oil 1 tsp
Sugar ½ tsp
Red Pepper Flakes 1 tsp (adjust to your liking)
Rice Vinegar Dash (OPTIONAL / adjust to your liking)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Slice ends off cucumbers and then smash them until they break like video above. Cut the cucumbers into thirds width wise. Then cut into bite sized pieces approximately 1/2 inch wide and 1 inch long.
  • Add in all the remaining ingredients and mix until cucumbers are evenly coated in seasonings. Taste and adjust as needed. You can eat right away or let the cucumbers sit in the fridge to further develop the flavors.

Recipe adapted from Kirbie Cravings

Angie's Cucumber Garden

Angie’s Cucumber Garden (photo credit: Angie Wong @ 2 Cats)

Purple Okra

Purple Okra with Sweet Corn and Tomatoes Stir Fry

Summer exists in its own time warp it seems, how do longer days make a shorter season anyway?  This August, I am trying hard to stay present, savor every ray of warm sunshine, and not jump ahead mentally from summer to winter (there’s still fall to look forward to!).

Speaking of savor, there are still so many awesome summer vegetables to be had, like OKRA.  I like them every which way they come and in all its slimy goodness … yummm! I know the sliminess can be a turn off to some, which brings me to this most super summery summer recipe of all time (well, maybe second to the chipotle corn soup): Purple Okra, Sweet Corn, and Tomatoes Stir Fry.IMG_1180

For the anti-slim crowd, purple okra is “drier” than its greener siblings and the acidity in the tomatoes reduces the sliminess of okra tremendously.  Give it a try!  For my vegetarian friends, this dish can definitely be made without the chicken, just skip chicken + flour and add seasoning (Worcestershire sauce, sugar, red pepper flakes) to Step 5.

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INGREDIENTS (4 Servings):

1 Onion Chopped
3 Cloves Garlic Sliced
Ginger, Grated 1 – 2 tsp, adjust to your liking
1 Pound Purple Okra Cut into 1 inch pieces
4 Medium Tomatoes Chopped
1 Ear Corn De-kernelled
1 Chicken Breast Boneless & Skinless, Cubed
Worcestershire Sauce 2 Tablespoons, Split
Sugar 2 tsp
Red pepper flakes 2 tsp (adjust to your liking)
Soy Sauce To taste

DIRECTIONS:

  • Toss cubed chicken with 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, sugar, red pepper flakes, and a light coating of flour
  • Using medium – high heat, pan fry onions, garlic, and grated ginger until onions are translucent, about 2 – 3 minutes. Set aside
  • Use the same heated pan, add another ½ tablespoon of oil and pan fry the chicken until it is almost cooked through. Set aside
  • Panfry okra until slightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add corn, toss for another minute
  • Add onions / garlic / ginger mixture from step 2 to the okra / corn mixture, toss. Then add tomatoes until heated through
  • Add chicken to vegetable mixture until cooked through, season with soy sauce and rest of Worcestershire sauce. Serve hot with rice

NOTE: Purple okra turns green after being cooked!

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