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Easy Summer Entertaining

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Prosciutto-Wrapped Figs with Blue Cheese
Caramel Fig Tarts
Maple Rosemary-Brined Pork with Pinot Fig Chutney

(Family Features) - Delicious food. Great wine. Good friends. This is what summer entertaining is all about.

When the weather warms up, so does the grill and with it comes outdoor dining for friends and family. Some of the best dishes are those that are big on flavor and easy to prepare ahead of time. Sometimes taking traditional ingredients and showcasing them in new and mouthwatering ways is an easy way to showcase the inner gourmet chef in all of us.

Fruit is incredibly versatile, in everything from appetizers to desserts. One of the most flavorful, adaptable and nutritious fruits is the fig. An excellent source of fiber, fat- and cholesterol-free dried and fresh figs from California are the ultimate versatile fruit. From savory chutneys to sweet tarts, figs add a depth of flavor to any dish.

Picking the perfect wine to complement the meal doesn't need to be difficult. For food-friendly varietals that pair beautifully with fruits, cheeses and entrees such as a succulent pork tenderloin, Mirassou Winery® has several offerings - from a fruit-focused Chardonnay to a bright and approachable Pinot Noir.

Try these simple recipes for a small dinner party for four, or double them for a group of eight. For more recipes, visit www.CaliforniaFigs.com and www.mirassou.com.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Figs with Blue Cheese

Ingredients
  • 16 California dried or fresh figs, stems removed and halved
  • 8 teaspoons blue cheese
  • 16 (6 x 1/2-inch) strips prosciutto
  • Equal parts melted seedless raspberry jam and white balsamic vinegar to taste
  • Chopped fresh thyme

Preparation
    1. Press the center of each fig half to make a small space for cheese.
    2. Place 1/2 teaspoon cheese onto half of the figs and press halves together to enclose. Wrap each with a strip of prosciutto and thread figs onto skewers.
    3. Grill over high heat for about 5 minutes, turning frequently, until lightly charred on all sides; remove from grill. Stir together preserves and vinegar. Drizzle over skewers then top with herbs. Serve warm.

Preparation Time
15 minutes

Cook Time
5 minutes

Serves
Makes 4 servings

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Pairs with Mirassou California Chardonnay

Caramel Fig Tarts

Ingredients
Walnut Crust
  • 2/3 cup each: flour and finely chopped walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons cold butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg yolk plus 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ice water
Figgy Caramel Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Mirassou California Riesling
  • 8 California dried figs or 4 fresh figs, stems removed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Honey Cream
  • 1 8-ounce package 1/3 less fat cream cheese, tend
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Garnish
  • 8 California dried figs or
  • 4 fresh figs, stems removed and sliced or quartered

Preparation
    1. Mix together flour, walnuts, butter and sugar with a pastry blender or fork until butter is in small pieces. Stir in egg yolk and water, then knead for about 15 seconds on a lightly floured board. Shape into four 4-inch discs then press each into a 4-inch shell with a 1/2-inch rim. Transfer to a lightly greased baking sheet and wrap a foil collar around each; refrigerate for 1 hour.
    2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake for 15 minutes then remove foil and bake for 5 minutes more; let cool.
    3. To prepare sauce, melt butter in a small saucepan. Add brown sugar and cook for 2 minutes; add wine and figs and cook for 2 minutes more. Stir in cream and cinnamon and remove from heat. Cool slightly, then puree until fairly smooth.
    4. Stir together cream cheese, honey and cinnamon in a small bowl; spread equal amounts into each pastry crust, then spread a thin layer of caramel sauce over cream. Arrange figs decoratively on top. Serve with any additional caramel sauce.

Preparation Time
30 minutes

Chill Time
1 hour

Cook Time
20 minutes

Serves
Makes 4 servings

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Pairs with Mirassou California Riesling

Maple Rosemary-Brined Pork with Pinot Fig Chutney

Ingredients
Maple Rosemary Brine
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups each: Mirassou California Pinot Noir and water
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon coarse pepper
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, smashed
Pork
  • 1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin
Pinot Fig Chutney
  • 1 cup chopped California dried figs
  • 1 cup Mirassou Pinot Noir
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

Preparation
    1. To prepare pork, place a gallon-size resealable plastic bag in a large bowl to keep it upright. Pour boiling water over salt and stir to dissolve; let cool. Place salt water, remaining brine ingredients and pork in bag; seal well. Refrigerate for 48 hours, turning bag occasionally.
    2. Remove pork from brine and rinse well; pat dry. Cook on a well-oiled grill over medium-high heat for about 40 minutes or until pork is cooked through, turning occasionally. Serve with warm or room temperature chutney and finish with fresh chopped rosemary, if desired.
    3. To prepare chutney, stir together all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 40 minutes. Remove cover and increase heat slightly; cook for 10 minutes more or until excess liquid has cooked off. Remove cinnamon sticks. (May be prepared several days ahead and stored in the refrigerator.)

Preparation Time
30 minutes

Brine Time
48 hours

Cook Time
1 1/2 hours total

Serves
Makes 4 servings

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Pairs with Mirassou California Pinot Noir

SOURCE: Mirassou Winery
California Fig Advisory Board


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