Food and friends elevate our lives. For me cooking for someone is done when I have reached a level of comfort with that person; it’s a true and vulnerable moment for me. Gathering around with food and wine forces all of us to let our guards down, open up, and become closer with one another. I believe this is why I love to cook. Feeding someone I love gives me more joy and gratification than anything in my life; it’s how I express my love.There is nothing more comforting for me than to gather with a close friend, in an intimate setting, share a bottle of wine, and put together a meal or a snack for them. I just made a trip to the specialty food store, Monsieur Marcel at The Grove in LA, and picked up some wonderful ingredients. Tonight my sister is in town and I am putting something together that is simple and elegant. I decided to pick up a lovely bottle of Pinot Noir wine, and assemble a cheese plate. Taking inspiration from the beautiful and seasonal figs I picked up at the market on my lunch, I made a fig jam to spread with the French cheeses, artisanal breads and gluten-free apple crisps from Monsieur Marcel.Take time to gather with the ones you love, share stories and inspirations from your day.
Gazing at the beautiful cheese knives at Monsieur Marcel.
Recipe for fig jam
I N G R E D I E N T S
1 teaspoon canola oil
3 shallots, diced
1 cup of good red wine
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup beef broth
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup of figs, quartered
P R E P
1. Place a medium skillet over medium heat and add the oil. When heated, add the shallots, and cook until they are softened, about 3 minutes. Deglaze with the red wine, and reduce by half. Add the broths and vinegar, and reduce by half. Add the rosemary and sugar.
2. Lower the heat to low, and cook until the sugar has melted, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the figs, stirring occasionally. Cook until the mixture has the consistency of a liquid-y jam, 10 to 12 minutes. Use immediately; or cover, and refrigerate up to 5 days.