Simple, sweet, and totally indulgent, these figs will be the talk of your party… even though they will be the easiest appetizer to make! Pungent robiola cheese can be substituted with brie, ricotta, or any other soft cheese in this simple no-cook appetizer.
Makes 15 Individual Figs Ingredients:
1 pint fresh figs (about 15 figs), stemmed
8 ounces of soft cheese, like robiola cheese, rind removed, at room temperature
2 Tablespoons honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 Tablespoons fresh pomegranate seeds
Dill sprigs, for garnish
Working from the stem end of each fig and using a paring knife, cut an “x”, about halfway toward the base; set aside. Mix robiola, honey, salt and pepper in a bowl.
Spoon filling into a piping bag with a plain 1⁄2″ tip; pipe about 1 teaspoon into each fig. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and dill sprigs and serve.
Adapted from Christina Arokiasamy The Spice Merchant’s Daughter, 2015
Curry puffs are very popular tea time snacks in Malaysia. Prepared like Indian samosas, golden curry puffs are lightly spiced, drawing flavors from sweet potato, potato and chicken. For this recipe, Chef Arokiasamy has chosen to use frozen puff pastry for convenience—it is available at most supermarkets or you can wrap the filling in our Malaysian Raya Brand or Kawan Brand Paratha.
Makes About 2 Dozen Pastries
1 cup frozen petite peas
1 pound frozen puff pastry
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 medium sweet potato,peeled and diced
1 small Yukon gold potato, peeled and diced
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 springs curry leaves finely chopped
One 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
8 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced
2 Tablespoons Madras curry powder
3 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 large egg lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon of water
Thaw the peas in a medium bowl filled with warm water for 10 minutes. Remove the puff pastry from the freezer and set aside to thaw. Preheat the oven to 400°F .
Meanwhile, set up a steamer by bringing a couple of inches of water to a boil in a large pot. Place carrots, sweet potato, potato and peas in the steamer insert and set the insert over the boiling water. Cover and steam for 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the curry leaf, ginger and garlic and fry until the garlic is golden and the spices release a fragrant scent, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chicken and curry powder and cook, stirring as needed until the meat is no longer pink, about 7 minutes.
Add the steamed vegetables, season with the sugar and salt and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the ingredients are well combined. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.
When you are ready to make the curry puffs, lay one pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough to increase by about 1 inch all around and thin it slightly. Cut the puff pastry sheet into 3-inch discs circles. Repeat with the remaining pastry. You will need about 22 circles.
Lightly brush the edges of the dough with the beaten egg. Place 1 tablespoon of the cooled filling in the center of each circle and then fold over the dough to form a semicircle. Gently seal the edges with a fork and place the curry puffs on a baking sheet. Brush each pastry with egg and bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes.