by Joe LaVilla
1. Destem the figs and make two small cuts in the stem end to form a cross.
2. Dissolve 1 Tbs sugar in the Port, and pour over the figs in a small saucepan. Add the basil and allow to marinate for at least 1 hr.
3. Allow the two types of cheese to come to room temperature.
4. Combine the egg whites and the 1.5 oz sugar in a bowl. Heat gently over barely simmering water to 135 degrees, while stirring. Whip to form medium peaks.
5. Combine the two cheeses in a bowl, stirring until smooth. Fold the meringue into the cheese misture. Chill slightly.
6. Place the sauce pan with the figs over low heat and allow to come to a simmer. Poach the figs for about 5 minutes, depending on their ripeness. Carefully remove the figs from the wine an allow to cool slightly.
7. Increase the heat under the Port until the mixture begins to boil. Reduce by two-thirds, or until the liquid forms a syrup.
8. Scoop some of the mousse onto a plate or into a glass. Top with three of the figs and a drizzle of the syrup.
About the author:
Joe LaVilla originally hails from Rochester, in Western New York State. While obtaining his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Rochester, he decided to pursue his culinary calling. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Joe has worked in Manhattan, Washington, D.C. and at Spago in Las Vegas before settling in Phoenix.
This page originally published as part of the electronic Gourmet Guide between 1994 and 1998.
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Modified August 2007
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