In September 09, the Tandem Tasters, were in Richmond, VA for an International Food Wine & Travel Writers Press Trip. We went a day early to interview chefs. We were fortunate to interview Chef/owner Christine Wansleben of Mise En Place Cooking School.

Christine prepared Figs stuffed with Goat Cheese and Peppered Bacon. Easy and delicious. The video also features dishes served later that week at an IFWTWA dinner that Mise En Place and local producers gave for us.

We hope you enjoy the video. If you have trouble viewing the video, click here.

Roasted Mission Figs w/Goat Cheese & Pepper Bacon

Serves 4 as Appetizer

4 to 6 slices of pepper bacon or applewood smoked bacon

4 medium sized fresh ripe figs, such as white or Calimyrna, halved lengthwise

1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) crumbled mild goat cheese
fresh black pepper and kosher salt

Pomegranite Balsamic Reduction:

3 Tbs pomegranite juice

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a medium heavy skillet (not nonstick), place the bacon slices in a single layer and cook until just beginning to brown. Transfer to a paper towel to drain. Reserve about 2 Tbs of the bacon grease. Cut each bacon slice into 4 or 6 pieces.

For the reduction: combine the juice and vinegar in a small sauce pan and heat over medium heat until it’s reduced by half and coats the back of a spoon. Season with pepper and set aside.

Arrange the figs on a baking sheet, cut sides up. With a small melon baller or spoon, scoop out a little bit of the center of the fig. Brush the cut surfaces with the bacon grease. Combine the goat cheese with fresh black pepper and salt. Add a dash of cream to smooth out the cheese, if necessary. Fill the fig with the goat cheese mixture.. Bake until the figs are warmed, about 8 minutes, allowing the cheese to toast slightly.

Arrange the baked figs on a platter, topping each with a piece of pepper bacon and drizzle the reduction atop each fig. Serve warm.

Christine Wansleben, Chef/Owner

Mise En Place Cooking School


Maralyn D. Hill and Brenda C. Hill
International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association
Books By Hills Success Log Where&WhatInTheWorld;

Finalist in the Writing and Publishing category of the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, “$uccess, Your Path to a Successful Book”