Scrumptious bites: a medley of flavors and textures (photos #1 and #2 © California Fig Commission).
 Dried figs are delicious snacking right from the bowl. Enjoy them with a piece of cheese, too.
 Uncured bacon, free of added sugar and nitrates (photo © Butcher Box).
 Fontina cheese is made in the Val d’Aosta in Piedmont, Italy (photo © Murray’s Cheese).
 If you want the flavor of jalapeño but not the heat, remove the seeds (photo © Good Eggs).
|Another goodie for National Fig Week: a fig skewers recipe with bacon and jalapeño, more formally known as Roasted California Figs Stuffed with Bacon, Jalapeño Peppers, and Cheese; and also called Mission Figs Flameado (“flamed” in Spanish).
They can be passed on a plate, or plated as a salad course. Just lay the skewer atop the salad, or on the side of the plate.
Chef Del Grande notes, “In the tradition of Queso Flameado* (flamed cheese), this hors d’oeuvre is a study in contrasting flavors and textures: sweet, salty, spicy, smoky, and chewy; crispy, crunchy and creamy. All in one bite! What a bite!”
RECIPE: MISSION FIGS FLAMEADO
Ingredients For 8 Skewers
1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. In a heavy skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until browned but not too crisp. Cool and cut each slice into 4 pieces.
2. REMOVE and discard the stems from the figs, and trim a thin slice from the bottom of each fig so that it will stand upright. Then, cut each fig in half, horizontally.
3. SLICE the jalapeño crosswise into 8 round slices, without removing the seeds. For spicy bites, make the slices thick, for milder bites, cut very thin slices.
4. SLICE the cheese about ¼ inch thick and cut slices into 8 pieces, each about ½ inch square.
5. ARRANGE the bottom half of the figs on a well-oiled baking sheet. Layer each half with a slice of cooked bacon, a slice of jalapeño, and a square of cheese, and replace the top half of each fig. Press together lightly.
6. WARM in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Very carefully transfer the figs to the serving dish and drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil. Insert the skewers or picks in the center of each fig and serve warm.
*The difference between Queso Flameado vs Queso Fundido: Flameado is “flamed,” e.g. slightly melted under the broiler. Fundido is melted cheese, served in a shallow dish or pan with tortilla chips or other dippers (a relative of fondue). Fundido means “molted.”
†The rule in capitalizing cheese names is that if the name is also a geographic location (Brie, Parmesan after Parma, Roquefort, Valençay, etc.) you capitalize it. If not, don’t capitalize it (e.g., blue cheese, feta, fontina, goat cheese, and mozzarella.