Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 19 May 2011 Contents WHAT'S COOKING
Page 12 | 19 May, 2011
Beware, two of our popular
autumn fruits -- feijoas and figs --
can be addictive.
The fragrant feijoa -- scooped out
of the skin -- is a healthy snack
that is moreish. It's hard to stop
at one. They are rich in vitamin C
and fibre with just 46 kilojoules in
each 30 grams of fruit.
New Zealand is the only country
that grows feijoas in commercial
quantities and this season larger
varieties are plentiful. (Feijoas are
called pineapple guavas in the
United States and Australia).
Their unique flavour can be
enjoyed raw or cooked. Feijoas
are ready to eat when slightly soft.
The centre section of the freshly
cut fruit should be clear and
jelly-like. If the centre is hard and
white it is unripe. If it is brown and
translucent it is past its prime.
Firm feijoas should be stored at
room temperature to ripen. Once
soft, keep them in the refrigerator.
Because the skin is tart it is not
usually eaten, although unpeeled
feijoas are great in jams or
For many of us figs are a luxury
-- unless you grow them. Once
mature, the prolific trees then
provide enough for neighbours
and friends to enjoy as well. Figs
make superior treats when served
with mozzarella, parma ham, duck
and rabbit. However, they are also
excellent as snacks eaten whole.
There are hundreds of varieties of
figs, all having in common a soft
flesh and a centre of tiny edible
seeds. They range in colour from
purple-black to almost white and
in shape from round to oval.
They're extremely perishable and
should be used soon after picking.
Fab Feijoas and Figs
1½ cups rosé wine or
¼ cup sugar
2 star anise
4 whole cloves
1 vanilla pod
Combine the wine and sugar in
a saucepan. Bring to the boil,
stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
Add the spices and vanilla pod.
Simmer for 4-5 minutes.
Peel and halve the feijoas. Add to
the wine. Poach for 5 minutes or
until just cooked. Remove from the
heat and cool.
Great served with whipped cream
flavoured with vanilla paste.
6 large fresh figs
100g fresh buffalo mozzarella,
2 tablespoons New Zealand extra
virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
freshly ground black pepper to
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Remove the fig stems. In each fig,
make two cuts at right angles to
each other, cutting from the top
to halfway down. Insert a slice of
mozzarella in each cut.
Place in a baking pan. Drizzle with
olive oil and balsamic vinegar and
season with black pepper.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Baked figs with mozzarella
1kg ripe feijoas
juice 2 lemons
½ cup water
1kg jam-setting sugar
Top and tail the feijoas. Leave
the skins on. Slice into a food
processor. Coarsely chop.
Place in a saucepan with the
lemon juice and water. Bring to
the boil. Stir in the sugar, until
dissolved. Simmer for 4 minutes.
Scoop off and discard any foam
from the top. Pour into hot,
sterilised jars and seal.
Makes about 8 cups.
Five-minute feijoa jam
2 large chicken breasts, halved
1 teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup red wine
8 large fresh figs, halved
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped
Sprinkle the chicken with the
paprika, salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a large frying
pan. Add the chicken breasts
and brown both sides, about 2
minutes per side.
Add the wine and figs, mustard
and rosemary. Cover and simmer
for about 5 minutes or until
the chicken is cooked through.
Remove the chicken to a warm
plate. Cover and rest in a warm
place while preparing the sauce.
Reduce the wine and fig sauce,
until thickened. Serve over the
chicken. Excellent served with
creamy polenta. Serves 4.
Chicken and figs
Cake: 3 large feijoas, peeled
¾ cup caster sugar
2 large eggs
125g butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1¾ cups self-raising flour
¾ teaspoon each: baking
soda, ground cinnamon
Filling: 1 cup cream
2 tablespoons icing sugar
2 large feijoas, peeled and
Topping: icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Lightly grease a 23cm cake pan.
Line the base with baking paper.
Place the feijoas in a food
processor with the caster sugar,
eggs, butter and vanilla. Process,
until smooth. Scrape into a bowl.
Sift the flour, baking soda and
cinnamon. Fold into the feijoa
mixture. Do not over-mix.
Tip into the prepared cake pan.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until
a skewer inserted in the centre
comes out clean. Cool for 5
minutes then remove from the
pan and cool on a wire rack. When
cold, cut in half through the centre
using a sharp, serrated knife.
To prepare the filling, whip the
cream and icing sugar together
until thick. Spread half on the
base of the cake. Top with the
sliced feijoas. Cover with the
remaining cream and replace the
top half of the cake.
Dust liberally with icing sugar.
Serves about 8.
Fab feijoa cake
I adapted this from my favourite banana cake recipe.
Remove any blemishes from the feijoas but leave the skins on for superb flavour and great colour.
A simple but stunning starter.
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