Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bacon Wrapped Figs Stuffed with Goat Brie


 The other night, driving home along the Bitteroot River, beneath a twilight sky, the moon rose. Not just any moon. A harvest moon. An unusually large, gleaming, golden-amber moon. It sat, momentarily, on the top of Mount Sentinel, so full it looked oblong, like an egg that might roll end over end down the sloping, grassy ridge. We passed a farm field, where the equally heavy, oblong orbs of pumpkins shouted their colors from beneath the shade of their dark green leaves.

Stalks of indian corn.
The strangeness of gourds.
The sun long gone at 8:15.
An apple hangs heavy from our backyard tree.

 This is such a miraculous time of year on the 45th parallel-- a place I feel destined to inhabit for most of this life. Climate becomes so much a part of who we are. It's good to be back here after so much time spent close to the Arctic, where fall was but a handful of blow-down rainy days.


 Oh Autumn, I am seeing you with beginner's eyes... and smelling, and hearing, and touching, and tasting you. If seasons were courses, you'd be my favorite.  


You even match my dog.




Bacon Wrapped Figs Stuffed with Goat Brie (makes 8)
If I could take that crisp evening, and re-create a moment with flavor, the way a poet creates feelings with words, this would be it. Consumption of this hors d'oeuvre could benefit from the use of knife and fork, but the maple balsamic glaze is truly best when licked from the fingertips.

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup

8 fresh black mission figs
4 to 8 slices hickory smoked bacon
2 to 3 ounces goat brie (or substitute regular cow's milk brie), divided into 8 equal pieces
toothpicks

Preheat oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with foil. In a small sauce pan combine balsamic and maple syrup and bring to a simmer. Cook until volume is reduced by half.


With a paring knife, make a small pocket in the top of each fig, so that it will hold the cheese when it melts, rather than oozing out. Stuff each pocket with a small wedge of goat brie.

Wrap each fig in a slice of bacon, trimming to cover the fig in a single layer, with just a bit of overlap. Use a toothpick (or 2) to seal the figs in their bacon jackets. Generously brush and drizzle each fig with a coating of the maple balsamic glaze.


Place in center of oven and bake 10 minutes, or until bacon is sufficiently crisped. Devour while warm.
  
Acknowledgements: Thanks to the Camp Blogaway prop swap and Greg @ Sippity Sup for the beautiful leaf-adorned plate. : ) Also, thanks to Scott, Tracy, and Jayden J. for supplying the Goat Brie-- a delicious stroke of luck!
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