Blueberry Woodfired Figs

This dish pretty much combines all of my favorite things in one yummy bite: figs, blueberries, soft cheese, Balsalmic glaze, and woodfire. Yes, please! The woodfire provides a smokiness to the sweetness of the dish. The Balsalmic makes the flavor deep and rich. Basically, this is a perfect appetizer in my universe.

The Chaumes cheese comes from France and is a semi-soft, cow’s milk cheese with a creamy, smooth, springy and supple texture. Basically, it is good… really good. And on top of a fig with blueberries and Balsalmic… it is heaven. Try it… trust me.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup frozen blueberries (I prefer the small, sweet Maine blueberries.)

4 brown turkey figs, sliced in half

1 tablespoon maple syrup

2 teaspoons Honey

8 slices Chaumes cheese

1 tablespoon Grana Padano parmesan, grated

Yuzu Glaze

8 ounces Yuzu sauce

2 ounces Balsalmic vineagar

3 finger-length strips sliced Valencia orange rinds

2 quarter sized slices of fresh ginger

Instructions:

Coat the bottom of a small oven safe skillet with olive oil, then place blueberries in the skillet. Position fig halves in the blueberries and drizzle with maple syrup and honey. Roast in 500-degree oven for 5-7 minutes until blueberries burst.

To make the Yuzu Glaze, combine yuzu sauce, balsamic, orange rinds, and fresh ginger in small saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer until reduced by half.

Remove pan from oven and place cheese slices on each fig half, then sprinkle grated parmesan cheese over the pan. Set the oven to broil and place rack 6-8 inches from the top.  Put pan back in oven and broil for 45 seconds to 1 minute until cheese is melted. Remove pan from oven and drizzle yuzu glaze over figs.

I enjoy shrimp cocktail in the summer as a light, refreshing meal. I especially like to spice up my shrimp cocktail with the flavors of Mexico. Instead of using tomato juice as the base, what about using a bloody mary mix? When I discovered The Bloody Buddy ready-to-drink bloody mary WITH vodka already in it… I just KNEW I had to make shrimp cocktail with it. I started with a black bean salsa that I make (recipe given to me by my sister Corey) then added the shrimp and bloody mary. It was great! One to drink and one to eat.

2 cups Key West pink shrimp, poached

1 tablespoon freeze dried cilantro

1 12-ounce can black beans, drained

1 cup canned corn

1 Roma tomatoes, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1 firm avocado, diced

1/4 cup red onion, chopped

1 jalapeño pepper, deseeded and chopped

1 12-ounce bottle of Bloody Buddy RTD cocktail WITH vodka (or make a bloody mary for yourself and one for the food)

Instructions:

Chop the shrimp into large, bite-sized pieces. Mix together all ingredients. Let sit in refrigerator for 20 minutes to combine the flavors. Serve in a frozen schooner beer mug.

Note: This dish contains alcohol.

If you haven’t heard of Bloody Buddy, here’s the description from their website: Texas first and only ready to drink bloody mary. The Bloody Buddy™ is a chili pepper infused vodka and homemade bloody mary mix combined in one convenient bottle. Everything is made at our distillery in Dripping Springs, Texas with love. We are preservative free, non GMO and all natural. The Bloody Buddy is a spicy & fresh bloody mary for any occasion. Just shake and pour over ice.