French Frdays with Dorie

Friday, March 11, 2011

FFwD: Beggar's Linguine

Once again Dorie amazes me.  I saw the contents of this dish and my first thought was - and she liked this just by hearing about it?  How often I am reminded of my completely unsophisticated and unschooled palette.  I thought this dish sounded pretty awful up front.  Truth be told, I don't know if I have ever eaten a fig that wasn't pureed into the filling of a Newton.  (P.S. Fig Newtons are the bananas of the cookie world for me - I don't eat them often, but when I do I pat myself on the back for my healthy choice.  Unlike bananas they don't leave one with fuzzy teeth!)

I was too lazy to cut this recipe down into proportions for one so I have a few meals left in the leftover department.  I am sure Dorie is correct that these will not be as good as the dish is immediately after cooking - but when you live alone you eat a lot of left-overs that aren't as good as the original.  Thankfully some dishes do improve with age.

I was delighted with portions of this recipe.  I have tried a brown butter sauce before but was never happy with it.  This one was pretty close - the smell was absolutely divine.  I had been dithering over whether or not it was the color of hazelnuts - it surely smelled nothing like hazelnuts.  So, I kept the sauce simmering away for a few extra minutes.  I was so glad I did, suddenly, it came together, the fragrance was terrific and the color was decidedly dark. 

In general though, I am on the fence for this one.  As usual my coarse chopping looked more like a fine powder, so that needs work.  The flavors worked together so much better than I anticipated.  But, I found that the tiny little fig seeds were highly intrusive and gave my dish a fairly grainy feel.  I did not care for that - while simultaneously being surprised that I liked the sweetness of the figs against the buttery sauce. 

I definitely think I would prefer to serve this as a side dish and not as my main dish.  I am going to try it again when I have some willing victims to feed.  I used the zest of an entire orange and would not have minded even more.  I love how the zest brightens a dish.  These little things really do make a huge difference.

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