Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fig and Chickpea "Sausage"


Today, I bring you a recipe found in the local newspaper this summer in the weekly column of our James Beard Award-winning chef, Sanford d'Amato.

You may have seen the faux sausages made with chocolate and nuts.  This one is made with figs, prunes and 'candied' chickpeas (which represent the 'fat' in the faux sausages)! A reduction of red wine, balsamic vinegar, pomegranate juice, herbs and spices infuse the dried fruit with amazing flavor. This is delicious paired with a variety of cheeses for a fun and delicious appetizer.  The nice thing about the recipe is that you use dried figs rather than fresh figs so you can make this year-round.


The only problem that I had with the recipe was the mixture remained far too sticky, even after being chilled overnight.  I remedied that by adding unflavored gelatine which firmed it up perfectly without changing the flavor.

ps:  If you see a few remaining 'summery looking' posts, please forgive me...I've been so busy this summer I haven't had time to post them all :)


Fig and Chickpea Sausage

Adapted from Sandy D'Amato for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Printable Recipe

Makes 4 sausages (about 6 ounces each)

Note: Candied Chickpeas can be started 1-2 days ahead - See recipe below

1 quart dry red wine
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup pure pomegranate juice
1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1 (5-inch) sprig of fresh rosemary
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
3 bay leaves
2 whole star anise
½ teaspoon kosher salt

6 ounces pitted prunes
8 ounces dry Mission figs, stems removed
2 envelopes Knox unflavored gelatin (my addition as I found the mixture far too sticky)

Place first 10 ingredients in a stainless saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce by half, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add prunes and figs, bring to a simmer, cover partially and cook about 35 to 40 minutes, until figs are tender and liquid is completely reduced to dry; uncover the last 5 minutes of cooking and stir constantly with a heatproof spatula to make sure fruit does not scorch on bottom of pan while liquid is reducing. Remove from heat and remove thyme, rosemary, cinnamon, bay leaves and star anise.

In a food processor, puree one-fourth of the mixture until fine, about 10 to 15 seconds. Mix puree back into pot, add the Knox Gelatin and gently simmer for a few minutes until the gelatin is dissolved.  Add the remaining fruit, fold in the Candied Chickpeas and cool to room temperature.

Divide mixture into four equal portions and place on individual sheets of plastic wrap.  Wrap plastic wrap around mixture and roll and shape each into roughly 6 by 2 inch sausage forms. The mixture will be sticky but will firm up in the refrigerator. Twist the sides of the plastic wrap together to compact the sausage. Place wrapped sausages on a plate and refrigerate, preferably overnight.

When ready to use, unwrap and slice with a sharp knife dipped in a touch of corn oil. Serve with cheeses of your choice.

Candied chickpeas: (Can me made the day before)

½ cup dried chickpeas
3 tablespoons sugar
1 bay leaf
1 star anise
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

Wash and soak chickpeas overnight in 4 times their volume of hot tap water, covered.

Drain chickpeas, place in a pot with remaining ingredients, cover with water to at least 3 inches above chickpeas and bring to a boil. Lightly boil, half-covered, about 50 minutes to 1 hour until very tender but not falling apart. Drain, cool and reserve.

38 comments:

  1. I had something like this, but this looks to be be so much better, that I bought at Trader Joe's for the holidays. I would love this with some cheese and crackers. I even like the idea of candied chick peas on their own! Beautiful recipe. And very unique. xo

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  2. What an interesting treat this is! Very unique.

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  3. Looks so good, I'd love a sweet treat like this with cheese, crackers and wine. Nice to serve at my next book club meeting!

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  4. What a unique treat. Looks delicious. I wish we had access to fresh figs.

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    1. You don't need fresh ones, Julie. The recipe calls for dried figs.

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  5. Oooh...very different and like nothing I've ever seen...it sounds delicious!

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  6. Wow! So creative! This looks like a wonderful addition to a cheese platters.

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  7. I've made the other..this one is just as beautiful..but I bet even better:)
    Lovely photos too Nana..
    I will miss our flowers..what are those beautiful blues:)?
    I think I know..tip of my tongue..

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    1. Lisianthus, Monique! They remind me of little roses, so pretty. I planted white, blue and green this year. They are still blooming :)

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  8. Looks and sounds like something I would like to try. A neighbor has a fig tree, but the birds and squirrels feast on it before anyone can harvest much of the fruit. Most every season, someone (think a friend of his) goes up into the tree and harvest what they can that has not been damaged.
    Does not matter when you took the pics - Thanks for sharing them.
    Weather is gorgeous here this week so I won't be snooping around the land of blog much this week.
    Hope you are having a great week.

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    1. Enjoy the beautiful weather, Glenda! I know it's hot there. I would love to see a fresh fig tree one day.

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  9. What an unusual recipe...it would be for me anyway...I'm getting a culinary education here.

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  10. I love these ingredients - I bet it tastes wonderful - inspiring!
    Mary x

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  11. Susan, this is something unusual and interesting for me. I am very sure it's delicious as it has all my favourite ingredients. Can't wait to try it.

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  12. I think this would taste incredible and love how springy it is :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  13. Susan, this has to be one of the most unusual recipes I've seen in ages. The ingredient list is fascinating! Your sausage must be slightly sweet which would be the perfect foil with cheese. I can just taste this with a great blue cheese.

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  14. This is a keeper, Susan. I love the combination and I know my pals will too. I love the way this looks too. I know about this chef and have heard so many good things. Now I want to know more. Thanks for agreat recipe!

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  15. My chocolate salami is definitely a hit - delicious, gorgeous and a little bit of goodness in it, too... and as I am deep into Cheese making at home, this recipe has me almost off of my chair. I can see this on a holiday cheese platter, for sure! Love the idea of a candied chick pea, yet it is almost an oxymoron when combined with figs.... but, I cannot wait to try this one, Susan!!!
    :)
    Valerie

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  16. Lately I have seen many different versions of this classic. Love the candied chickpea addition.

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  17. Susan, I stopped at all our nurseries and none of them had the Lisianthus. Next spring, I will order plants from a supplier on the internet. They are so pretty, and look beautiful with your fig and chickpea sausage which sounds wonderful.

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  18. I REALLY need to try it, it's not that appealing for me but it does sound delicious and I bet that it will be a hit

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  19. This is an unusual and unique recipe! I like dried figs, so this work really well for me!
    Thanks for sharing!

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  20. What a great idea. I love those fig "cakes" that you can buy to eat with cheese, but never thought of making my own - and with candied chickpeas it's so unusual.

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  21. I have never heard of anything like this. So interesting. Great photos

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  22. Looks delicious Susan,it's a good idea...have a nice weekend, a hug...

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  23. How clever and something that must be delicious.

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  24. What an unusual and fun recipe find. I love the food sections of newspapers. I used to cut, cut, cut out recipes from the SF Chronicle and the LA Times when I worked in Sacramento. Joni

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  25. wow this is so much fun and a creative recipe, keep the summary recipes coming love them

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  26. I'd love to try this! I can get dried candied chickpeas here anywhere, and so saving me a bit of work. This is so original , I love it!

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  27. This is one sausage I'll have to make - it's healthy! Who would have thought sausage could be healthy and taste good. Love this recipe and it would make a nice gift too!

    I can't wait to try this!

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  28. This is so much different than the usual sausages Susan! I love all the ingredients you've added in it!

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  29. Very interesting! I would have to find something to sub for the chick peas though! :).

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  30. Oh fun! I've never seen veggie/fruit sausages like this - love the presentation on the cheese plate and I bet it matched fabulously.

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  31. Wow, what an interesting recipe. I can see this being the topic of conversation at a dinner party. The candied chickpeas sound delicious.

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  32. Susan~ I love this! We love figs and the candied chickpeas sound delicious! Of course I love the flowers in the background~ bring on your summery garden posts :)

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