Black Mission Figs in a Port Reduction
In a moment of insanity, I signed up to compete in a grilled cheese contest this coming Saturday. I have made so many combinations, that I am actually a little sick of grilled cheese. This is one of the ingredients I am using in my sandwich. I first tried “store bought” fig jam, which was way too sweet, so I have doctored this recipe. It isn’t very jam-like, but it works well.
This savory jam is a great addition to a cheese plate. The Dijon mustard adds an unexpected spice and flavor that pairs well with sharp cheddars.
Savory Fig Jam
3 Tbs minced shallot
2 (3-inch) fresh thyme sprigs plus ½ tsp minced fresh thyme
½ bay leaf
1½ Tbs unsalted butter
¼ lb dried Black Mission figs, finely chopped (¾ cup)
¾ cup Port
1 tsp whole grain Dijon mustard
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
Cook shallot, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf in butter in a 1 to 1 ½ quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring, until shallot is softened, about 2 minutes. Add dried figs, Port, mustard, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer, covered, until figs are soft, about 10 minutes. If there is still liquid in saucepan, remove lid and simmer, stirring, until most of liquid is evaporated, 3 to 4 minutes more. Discard bay leaf and thyme sprigs and transfer jam to a bowl.
Cool, then stir in minced thyme and salt and pepper to taste.