Ad Hoc Question
  • Hi Everyone-
    If you have the Ad Hoc cookbook could you help me out please? I would like to make the pork loin stuffed with figs for New Years. Do you think I can use dried figs instead of fresh?
    Curious too- what are you cooking for New Years? I look forward to reading all of your reviews after you have cooked. Have a good one!
  • I will be the guest of Continental Airlines (if flights are back on schedule at that point) on New Year's no cooking for me. And I don't have my copy of AHAH with me so I can't look at the recipe ...but

    I have only ever used dried figs when stuffing a pork loin or turkey breast -- and was happy with the result. However, my recipes called for dried -- have never replaced fresh with dried -- but I'd probably go for it. After all ... how bad could it be?
  • I've just peeked at the recipe - it calls for fig jam made with fresh figs, but I'm sure you can improvise with no major issues as aj12745 said - I'd probably just simmer some dried figs in a little hot water until they're soft and then add some balsamic vinegar and lemon to taste, as the proportions will be different than a recipe with fresh figs. I presume the dried figs would be pretty sweet, though since he adds sugar to the jam, you'd want to do this to taste too if you felt it necessary. And if they don't break apart, maybe a short whirl in the food processor to make them more jammy.

    Sounds like a nice New years dinner! I have a duck in the fridge thawing out, and I may do the Ad Hoc duck breast recipe - we've had duck confit the past few New Years, so duck is becoming a tradition. I usually make some sort of fancy potatoes, and I might try the Zuni Cafe buttermilk mashed potatoes this year. Or else roast some in the duck fat if I can get some fat early enough.
  • Thanks for your advice. I checked all over and couldn't find fresh figs so I bought dried. I will do as you suggest, Andrew, and soak them first. I'm sure they will be fine. Your dinner sounds great. Enjoy.
    @aj Good luck with your travels! I hope you get where you are going with few troubles.
    Happy New Year!

    I didn't realize the AHAH used the fresh figs to make fig jam -- anyway, I used this recipe a while back -- uses dried figs to make jam. If it's not helpful, just round file it! Good Luck!
  • Your plans all sound so grand! I'll spend a quiet night at home, and try for an all-zuni dinner. By the way - I've found wonderful fig jam in our local Mediterranean grocery store, even a jar of Turkish preserved whole figs in a fig syrup. Too late to help for now, but now that I'm reminded about it, it might be a decent substitute for fresh in one of the Zuni recipes...
  • @bhnyc - did you end up making the pork, and did it work out? Our New Year's dinner was a splendid success. It was just my wife and I (our two daughters had their favourite, home made mac & cheese), and we made short work of our duck (it was fairly small, so not hard for the two of us to finish it off).

    I cut the duck up into breasts and legs, did the legs using Mark Bittman's recipe from How To Cook Everything: and did the breasts very simply, inspired by Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home Recipe: Zuni Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes finished up the mains, and then for dessert we had Kellers Ad Hoc Chocolate Brownies, which were just right. The duck, both ways, was simply excellent.

    Happy New Year!
  • @bhnyc -- just finished reading the reviews you posted -- sounds like you pulled together a fabulous meal. I love salads and vinaigrettes and cannot wait to try the honey vinaigrette. Not to mention the fig jam -- I usually just pick up the jar in the cheese section at Whole Foods but I think I may need to try the one you reviewed sometime soon ... like later this afternoon.
  • Hi Andrew and AJ- dinner was great. Andrew your dinner sounded great too. Thanks for your help with my question. The fig jam was particularly delicious. Glad to hear AJ is going to make it. Happy New Year!

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