Higos con Queso de Cabra y Jamón Serrano
One of my favorite appetizers in the world is goat cheese stuffed figs wrapped in prosciutto. I also do the same with dried dates and it's amazing. While adjusting to my new kitchen here I decided I would make something that required little or no cooking. So, I decided to Spain-ify these little one bite wonders. Yes, Spain-ify them. Normally I use the dark purple figs found in the United States, a log of goat cheese from any decent grocery store, and deli sliced prosciutto di parma ham. Here in Spain, purple figs are nowhere to be found. At first, I thought the figs sold nearby my flat were just unripe. But after perusing several of the fruit markets in San Sebastián, I realized that the figs were perfectly ripe and naturally green in color. As far as I can tell the taste is almost exactly the same as that of purple figs, perhaps a bit milder. Figs in general have a very mild taste. Thats why, when combined with the strong taste of goat cheese and the salty bite of prosciutto, they become the perfect hors d'oeuvre.
I had never even eaten a fig until this past summer and now it's my mission to get everyone to try one of my figs. For those of you who have never eaten a fig, I've included a picture of what they look like to the left. Figs are soft and filled with a million tiny edible seeds. The queso de cabra, or goat cheese, here is much softer as well. You can buy it in a log or a container and it tastes distinctively like goat cheese but the texture is more like that of brie. And of course, I had to use Spanish ham. Serrano is a dry cured Spanish ham that is very similar to Italian prosciutto, so it was the clear choice.
10 figs (green or purple)
6 oz. goat cheese
10 thin slices Serrano ham
First, run all of the figs under warm water to clean them because they tend to get slightly sticky. Slice each fig in half exposing the seedy center. Slice each piece of ham in half lengthwise to make twenty thinner strips of Serrano ham. Using the back of a teaspoon, lightly press each fig half so that there is a small indent for the goat cheese. Using the same teaspoon, place a small amount of goat cheese on top of each fig half, wrap in Serrano ham, and spear with a toothpick. Repeat until all figs are assembled. Voila! I'm expanding the palates of my friends here daily, and my roommate Brittany is especially into these appetizers :) The flavor is not like anything you would expect, especially given that most people have no idea what a fig tastes like. These are seriously delicious. Enjoy!