Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fig Jam

Not so very long ago, I had a delicious sandwich at a local restaurant, which I refuse to link to for many reasons, but mainly because they keep removing things I love from their menu and then charging more for the crap they still serve that I don't want. They've already done away with nachos and mac and cheese, so I shouldn't have been shocked when I realized they also scrapped my new favorite sandwich ever. Yes, I know I have a new favorite sandwich ever each month. Let's move on. Anyway. I'm loathe to give those people my money anyway, so it's just as well. My latest greatest sandwich is so very good, and its star ingredient is fig jam. It's also very versatile, I've had it three different ways, all heavenly. The only bad news, is there's not so much a recipe as a set of instructions. You need fig jam (obviously), crusty french bread (although not a baguette, the kind that gives you sandwich size slices), fresh mozzarella (yes, it must be fresh), balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Those are the key ingredients. The ones you can rotate in and out include cooked slices of chicken, prosciutto, spinach and arugula. The bread will absorb the delicious butter from your pan, the mozzarella will be creamy, the fig jam will be sweet and the balsamic will balance that sweetness with a hint of acid. You can choose to add other ingredients, or omit them depending on what you have in the house, or what you're in the mood for.

So here's my not-actually-a-recipe:
bread (2 slices crusty bread per person)
fresh mozzarella cheese - this is paler in color than regular mozzarella, you'll need a fist sized ball for two sandwiches.
1 T balsamic vinegar (per 2 sandwiches)
1-2 t olive oil (per 2 sandwiches)
salt and pepper
enough fig jam to cover one side of each sandwich (maybe a tablespoon or two per sandwich?)
one or more of the following:
leftover pieces of chicken
spinach or arugula

Cut 2 slices of bread per person. Smear one side of each sandwich with fig jam. Slice the mozzarella thin and layer on the sandwiches. Mix together the balsamic, olive oil and salt and pepper. If using leftover chicken (such as off a roast chicken), warm them slightly and toss with the balsamic mixture. If you're using the spinach or arugula, toss the greens in a pan with the mixtures for just about 30 seconds to a minute, just enough to warm very slightly. To the fig jam and mozzarella add either the chicken, or the chicken and greens or just greens or greens and prosciutto. Then cook as you would a grilled cheese. I suppose if you had a fancy panini press you could use that, but I'm not so fancy. I toss it in a pan with some butter and put a heavier pot on top to smoosh it down so it all gets cooked and melty and wonderful and then when the first side is golden brown, I flip adding a bit more butter until the other side is also golden and delicious.

1 comment:

mom said...

Here we are at the Fanelli's and John has just picked a fresh fig from his very own fig tree!! Therefore, I shared this recipe with JoAnne so she could substitute the fig jam with thinly sliced fresh figs, as we do. She is in love! You have another fan.


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