We had friends over for dinner last week and once again I was not inspired to do anything special for hors d'oeuvres. I'm not an appetizer kind of cook. Never found much inspiration there I suppose. Who sits around and dreams of appetizers to serve at a dinner party? All the action is at the main course and dessert...
I'm on the road all this week, eating on airplanes, in hotels, and at conference lunch tables pretending to be interested in what the others at the table are talking about. The only good food to be had, aside from the the hotel hamburgers, is in my mind! Why is it that a hamburger is always the best thing on the menu at a hotel? Hotel hamburgers are seriously good! I'm also thinking a lot about that last jar of Port Rosemary Jam sitting nearly empty in my refrigerator back home. Did I really only keep one jar for myself? Must be true because when friends came over for dinner last week, and I needed something to make a generic cheese plate pop, only one jar was on the shelf. All the jams and jellies I made in December are gone and its not even the end of February. Did I give them all away? I tend to hoard things (which makes making jams and preserves a fitting endeavor wouldn' t you say?) but I really wanted to give home made gifts this year so I guess this later value won out.
Dammit. When is fig season going to start again? I seriously need some more of this. I bet this jam would be good on a hotel hamburger. Its not too sweet so its definitely not a breakfast jam. Perhaps it would be good to dress roasted pork tenderloin? Or it could turn some sliced pears and Gorgonzola into a amazingly adult after dinner course? Or you could put in a Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus with Port Rosemary Fig Jam for an appetizer! Or make a thin crust Port Rosemary Fig Jam and Crumbled Pork Sausage Pizza.
Mmm.... I hope I can remember that next year! I guess people do sit around and dream up appetizers.
Port and Rosemary Fig Jam
- 2 pounds green or purple figs, stemmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup white port
- 2 4-inch sprigs of rosemary
In a large, nonreactive saucepan, toss the fig pieces with the sugar and let stand, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, until the sugar is mostly dissolved and the figs are juicy.
Add the lemon juice, rosemary sprigs and water and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Simmer the fig jam over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is soft and the liquid runs off the side of a spoon in thick, heavy drops, about 20 minutes. Remove rosemary and discard. Use an immersion blender to emulsify if necessary.
Spoon the jam into three 1/2-pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch of space at the top. Close the jars and process in a water bath and store in a cool place for up to a year or let cool to room temperature and store the jam in the refrigerator for up to 3 months or