Fig + Cheese Plate
A perennial addition to festive gatherings and pre-dinner fare, a platter of delicious cheeses is always welcome at our table. At our Styer's café, Chef Keith Rudolf's selection of domestic cheeses is always paired with just the right assortment of sweet and savory additions. When we asked him to share his secrets for putting together the perfect plate, he offered some current favorites, and even better, his recipe for a sweet accompaniment made with fresh figs.
"When it comes to assembling a cheese tray, I like to use a few different types of cheese. I look for a hard-aged sharp cheddar, a soft goat cheese, something creamy, and a bold blue cheese," Chef Rudolf advises. "Outside of those, anything else is up to personal taste, but texture and sharpness are always things to consider."
Doe Run Seven Sisters: raw, aged cow's milk cheddar
Nancy's Hudson Valley Camembert: smooth and creamy
Shellbark Farms Sharp Chèvre: sharp, soft, and creamy goat cheese
Rogue River Smokey Blue: phenomenal sweet and smoky flavor
Cypress Grove Lamb Chopper: hard, aged sheep's milk
Fig & Caramelized Onion Jam
1 pound figs, stemmed and quartered
1 yellow onion, sliced
2 oz. brandy
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon chopped sage
Start by slowly sweating the onion for about an hour, until it turns brown and caramelized. Add figs, brandy, and lemon juice, then simmer for 25 minutes. Remove from heat and mash with the back of a fork or a potato masher, keeping the mixture chunky. Mix in honey and chopped sage. Chill and enjoy!
Whole grain mustard
Fruit (fresh apples, grapes, or dried fruits)
Nuts (toasted walnuts, almonds, or pecans)