Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Annual T-Day Dilemma - Family Tradition vs. "Something New"

As adults, I bet we all have particular memories of the family T-Day dinner and as a result pretty much have a set menu for our own tables and guests.  And as a result of that, we may have generated fans for our remembered dinners.  So:  do you spring some new dishes or ways of preparing old dishes or don't worry about it?  "Eat what I put in front of you!" is never a bad idea ...

I came across a recipe for an unusual pie crust featured in an ad in Bon Appetit that intrigues me and the mag's recipe for a Fall/Winter appetizer.  You be the judge ...

8 fresh figs, split in half and set aside
2 slices of bacon, cooked and cut into thirds or fourths and set aside  Bacon should be cut to fit across the long point of the fig. 

3 T maple syrup
2 T red wine vinegar
1 teas. red chili flakes

Cook the bacon, keeping a little bacon fat in the pan.  Add the maple syrup and swirl it around, then cook the figs - cut side down - in the bacon fat.

Remove when the figs are cooked, add the red wine vinegar to the pan and cook the sauce.
Plate the figs cut side up, dribble sauce over then, garnish with a piece or two of bacon and flick the chili flakes over them. 

I like the sound of this so much that I may actually make it.  I have an on-going "fig problem." In theory, I like them.  In reality, I buy them, never do anything with them, they rot and I throw them out.  As fig season is usually a short one out here, they are expensive ($5 for six or eight of them) so what I should do is just throw a $5 bill in the trash and carry on, fig-less.  But ... this does sound good ...

(Don't you think this might work well with a pumpkin or pecan pie?  Maybe even an open-faced apple pie?  Open-faced meaning no top crust, latticed or not.)
1 cup of dates, pitted and chopped
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup "desiccated" coconut
1/2 cup cacao powder  (would probably omit - this doesn't seem like a "chocolatey" thing)
1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 T sesame seeds (would omit)

Cuisinart all of the above until it's the texture of coarse sand.  Take a spring form pan, line it with parchment, pat your mixture to cover the bottom of the pan and chill it until you put in your filling and bake it.  They never mentioned what temperature to bake the pie, so whether you go by what's "normal" for the filling or not, I don't know.  I don't bake.  Use your best judgement - and your nose - this seems like it would burn if not carefully watched.  And I'd use a regular pie pan, not this airy "springform" because we don't have one and am not about to buy one.  If I paid $5 for figs and another $5 for a fancy pan and don't use the figs like I usually do, we could go broke in a fairly quick period of time. 

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