Thursday, June 21, 2012

Goat Cheese with Fig Preserves - a perfect match!

If you can't find  certain Armenian food products in a Middle Eastern store, your best-bet is to attend a food festival at the nearest Armenian church - seriously!  That's how I discovered the Noyan brand of preserves made in Armenia. I was compelled to purchase a jar of fig preserves – an act in which I am not ashamed.

The figs, left whole, were swimming in very sweet (not in a bad way, mind you!) syrup flavored with vanilla. Our first sampling included one fig, cut into thin strips, served with a cup of Armenian coffee. WOW! That’s all I can say.

This past weekend, I wanted to share the fig preserves with guests in such a way that the sweetness wasn’t going to be completely over-powering. What came to mind was to serve it as an appetizer paired with tangy goat cheese. It was a no-brainer, really!
Goat Chesse and Fig Preserves with Ak-mak crackers

Here’s the very simple recipe for Goat Cheese with (Noyan) Fig Preserves:
Serves 4-6

4- oz. good quality goat cheese in a log-shape
2 sweetened figs from the jar, finely chopped

Directions:
Place the goat cheese on a serving plate. Top with the chopped figs; drizzle with some if the syrup from the jar.

Spread onto Ak-Mak wheat crackers.

NOTE: If you’re planning on a larger crowd, use a bigger log of goat cheese, and add more of the preserves.
Now, that's easy entertaining!

6 comments:

  1. Hi, I ended up here while looking for recipes for rose petal jam, Armenian style, as I was thinking of making some rose jam and a dear, well-travelled elderly friend was saying the other day that she regretted never having been to Armenia (she's a poet and great reader and loves Mandelstam), so I thought I might try to find an Armenian recipe for it and give her some.

    Anyway, if I found one here I mislaid it, because I've been so delightfully distracted by this wonderful site, and all the other delicious recipes to be found here - I think I could spend a year and a day trying them all out, though sometimes finding the ingredients would be a challenge; I live in Brittany and food-wise things are rather conservative here.

    There are quite a few fig trees around in gardens though, and sometimes the fruits ripen and sometimes they don't, but I found a Turkish recipe for sweet pickled unripened figs, which I have made and they are delicious, particularly with goat's cheese, which we have good local versions of. You have to boil them plain first, to squeeze out the bitter sap.

    I also found an interesting recipe for rose petal jam based on the one made in the Armenian monastery on the island of San Lazzaro in Venice; it's at:
    http://www.emikodavies.com/blog/rose-petal-jam/

    Now I'm off to look at your potato and egg salad recipe! Thanks for your lovely blog, I have bookmarked you and will certainly be back...

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    1. Lucy, thank you so much for this most-delightful comment. I hope you will enjoy your visits to our site and the recipes found within. And thank you for the rose petal jam site, too!

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  2. The Noyan preserves are good. Personally, I prefer the Ararat brand, available online here (http://www.sweetgourmet.com/-Preserves-C50.aspx) or on Amazon (who knew?). It seems to be more natural and the flavors are better.

    The cookbook "Armenian Cuisine" (http://www.armenian-cuisine.com/) has a recipe for rose petal jam. I should mention that Ararat has rose petal preserves, as do others, apparently.

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  3. Hey, just found out: Harvest Song *also* has rose petal preserves. And I *know* their preserves are awesome and available online.

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  4. I found the rose petal jam on the Harvest Song site, and I think I must have found you from there. Their produce looks gorgeous, though sending to Europe is probably rather prohibitive, and I like to make my own preserves anyway. Lovely to browse there too though!

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  5. Robyn served the goat cheese and fig preserves to my husband and I -- we are very lucky to volunteer as recipe testers! Highly recommended!

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