Monday, January 7, 2013

Easy Winter Appetizer: Bleu Cheese Spread with Drunken Fig Jam



My good friend Lisa makes her own preserves. She has an amazing farm and grows lots and lots of wonderful things, including various fruit trees like figs! She makes this amazing drunken fig jam (recipe here) and sent me some this past Christmas for treats! I was, as always, super excited and dove right in. 

I wanted to make something fabulous but still super easy. We were in the midst of holiday hell and moving to a new house, so I wasn't at liberty to make something too elaborate. And the jam was so amazing, I didn't want to go overboard with it anyway so we could taste the jam above all else. Enter: bleu cheese spread. 

Bleu cheese goes together with figs just perfectly -- the piquant flavor of the bleu brings out the delicate sweetness of the figs just wonderfully. The cheese gives a lovely color contrast to the rich deep purple of the figs, making the dish itself a work of art and irresistible to eat. I literally whipped up this dish in a matter of seconds in my food processor. Don't have one? Use a handheld blender. Don't have one of those either? Use a sturdy fork, then go buy a handheld blender or food processor. This quick and delicious appetizer is just perfect to munch on on a lazy wintry Sunday afternoon or perfect for a party snack! Enjoy it! And thanks Lisa!!



Bleu Cheese Spread with Drunken Fig Jam
1/2 cup good quality cream cheese
1/3-1/2 cup good quality creamy bleu cheese -- recommend: Roquefort, Point Reyes, Gorgonzola
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
small drizzle of honey (about 1/2 tsp if planning to serve with jam; do 1 Tbsp if serving spread on its own) 
drunken fig jam for serving 
crackers, bread slices, apple slices, etc. for serving

Place the cream cheese and bleu cheese in the bowl of the food processor. Put the bleu cheese to taste -- I like more of a bleu cheese flavor, so I go with the 1/2 cup's worth; if you like a more muted flavor then go with 1/3 cup or to taste. Add the black pepper and honey and mix until well combined. Turn out into a serving bowl. To serve, simply spread some of the bleu cheese spread onto a cracker, top with the jam and eat!

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