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Hot appetizers

Sweet and Sour Figs with Sausage
This unusual tapa can be assembled well ahead of time and heated before serving. The sauce is a mix of sweet, sour, fruity, and rich. Leftover figs can be refrigerated in the poaching liquid. You'll need toothpicks to hold the sausage slices and fig halves together.
1 cup Red wine vinegar
3/4 cup Sugar
1 cinnamon stick
5 whole cloves
5 bay leaves
3/4 lb. (about 30) dried figs, stems trimmed, halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon Olive oil
1 1/4 lb. (about 8) 3-inch-long sweet Italian sausages
1/3 cup Dry red wine
1/3 cup Canned chicken broth, low sodium
2 teaspoon Tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon Salt
3/4 teaspoon Black pepper, freshly ground
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Sweet and Sour Figs with Sausage

Sweet and Sour Figs with Sausage

Sweet and Sour Figs with Sausage
  • Servings:Serves 12
  • Prep Time:45 minutes
  • Cook Time:40 minutes
1. In a large saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, cinnamon stick, cloves, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer, swirling pan occasionally, until sugar is totally dissolved. Add figs, return to a boil (increase heat temporarily if necessary), cover, and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat and set figs aside to cool at room temperature for at least six hours, preferably overnight.
2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 350 degrees F. In a large nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add sausages and cook, turning them often, until they're cooked through and well-browned all over, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove sausages to a plate and set aside.
3. Pour off fat from skillet and discard, then add wine, increase heat to high, and use a wooden spoon to scrape bottom of skillet until brown film dissolves and liquid has reduced by half, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add chicken broth and tomato paste, whisk to combine, and continue cooking until liquid has again reduced by half, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add 3 Tbsp. of fig soaking liquid, salt, and pepper, and continue cooking to meld flavors and heat through, about 1 minute. Pour sauce into a large baking dish and spread evenly across the bottom with a rubber spatula (there should be enough sauce to just coat bottom of dish.)
4. Cut very thin slices off both ends of each sausage and discard. Cut sausages into 1/2-inch slices and lay them flat on work surface. Top each slice with a marinated fig half, spear each sausage-and-fig stack with a toothpick, and transfer to baking dish. Cover dish loosely with foil and bake at 350 F until sausages and figs are warm, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.
Source: Hannaford fresh Magazine, May - June 2008