Cooking all 124 recipes from the Brave New Meal cookbook in 365 days.
7 recipes down, 117 to go!
For those of you who don’t know me, welcome. Step inside.
I’m Camilla, and I don’t know where you just came from, but here it’s snowing and it’s as cold out as a polar bear’s asshole. So come into the warmth, pull up a chair, and stuff some figs in blankets in your mouth. Right now I’m in Denmark, and this is where “hygge” was made.
Cosy is our middle name, first name is Viking. We know how to snuggle up in the winter and get our “hygge” on.
Bad Manners Figs in a Blanket are perfect for this time of year. They’re both fancy and cosy at the same time. And the perfect size for popping straight in your mouth. Yum.
Now this is a two-for-one in the recipe department, because first you make the Roasted Bell Pepper and Rosemary Dip (page 75) and then you use it to also make the figs in blankets.
I couldn’t roast the bell peppers in the ways that the Bad Manners crew wanted me to because I don’t have a gas stove. So I threw some chopped red bell peppers in a roasting pan and manhandled that fucker into the oven. While they were in there, I fried the onion and added the fresh rosemary and garlic. When the peppers were done I threw them in the blender with the other ingredients, including the stuff I’d just fried. I had to use the tahini option because I couldn’t get my hands on any almond butter. It’s notoriously hard to find here in my neck of the woods.
I blended those little fuckers and all their friends until there was very little left to be identified. It was like a car crash where everything’s so mangled and mixed that they’ve got to use dental records to figure out what belongs to who.
I tasted the crime-scene-car-crash dip, and it was….just beautiful. Smoky, somehow earthy and herby from the rosemary. Savoury, delicious goodness.
My blender and I have an agreement. It blends things, and if I am nice to it, I get to enjoy chunky dips. There are no fully smooth dips in my world. At first, I had an issue with this, but no matter how much I shouted, cajoled, threatened or pleaded, my blender remained unchanging on the matter and the dips remained chunky. So I surrendered, and accepted my chunky fate, seeing as I didn’t have enough cash lying around to buy myself a new fancy-ass blender. After all chunky is better than nothing at all. (Santa, if you’re reading, a Vitamix Blender is top of my wish list this year. Or one of those Ninja thingies. ANYTHING that can create smooth dips. Please Santa, I’ll lay out the good cookies and everything. I’ll even throw in a few figs in blankets.)
Back to the Roasted Pepper and Rosemary Dip. It worked well with all sorts of things like cucumber, carrots, crackers, potato chips…and I dipped away to my heart’s content, even though I was meant to be spending my time making figs in blankets. But I thought fuck it, a small break was deserved and I poured myself a nice little gin and tonic to go with. Besides, I was still mourning my turbulent relationship with my blender. As I drank and dipped, I contemplated where things had gone wrong. Was it that time I’d made cocktails with ice? Was it too much for my blender to handle ice cubes? Who knows, but I had a feeling that an apology and a bouquet of flowers wasn’t going to be enough to fix this. Oh well. It was time to move on. I had to stop myself from eating all the dip so I could still use some for the fig-stuffers. I reluctantly tore myself away from dipping and drinking, and turned towards the puff pastry I had waiting for me. I grabbed one last dipped carrot on my way.
My blender hates me.
(Piece of shit blender pie is another good example of this)
Okay, so I don’t know if it’s just me that can’t do numbers, or measuring, but when I read the instructions on how to cut the rolled out puff pastry I got totally confused (and I don’t think it was that single gin and tonic that did it either) But Bad Manners said to not freak out just because they wrote some numbers down, so I took a deep breath, steeled my loins, and carried on.
I sliced the puff pastry, and cut the figs in half, and after I’d started wrapping the little figs in the pastry I realised that these were not fresh figs but dried. It said I was meant to have rehydrated those little mo-fos for 30 minutes first. Whoopsie-doodle. Fuck-a-doodle-doo.
Oh well, too late now I thought and helped myself to some more dip with cucumber. I got back to rolling, and decided just to go with it. Like life, figs will throw you some random curve balls. You can’t give up. You gotta keep going.
I’d added the dip inside the pastry with the figs, and when those little figgy bastards were wrapped up tight like kids at night before story-time, I sprinkled them with the poppy seeds like Bad Manners told me to. I was goddamn lucky to have found the poppy seeds at all, by the way. I’d totally grabbed some other randomness from the spice cupboard and realised at the last second that it WAS NOT POPPY SEEDS. It was nigella seeds or cumin seeds or something. Fuck knows, but I had to get up on chair (spoiler alert: I’m not super tall) to reach the very back of the cupboard where all the shit I haven’t used in 3 years lives. The poppy seeds were hanging out next to some weird red unidentified powder looking harassed. I felt like we were in a dodgy neighbourhood with a high crime rate, and could almost feel the poppy seeds thanking me as I came to the rescue.
Brush brush. Sprinkle sprinkle.
Then they went in the oven to warm up.
When they came out, they were yummy and puffy. They were paler than I thought they’d be, but I’d already left them in there a little longer than I’d intended, so I thought better safe than sorry.
Mine weren’t as pretty as theirs, but the flavour delivery was all there.
We didn’t wait long to try these. The bad mannered chefs had said to let them cool slightly before serving. SLIGHTLY. There was no way I could wait for longer than that.
They were really really good.
The texture was almost like a pig in blanket, and even the taste was…I don’t know, it’s hard to explain…but savoury enough to feel similar somehow? But without being gross. I don’t know. That’s all I can say, if you want more turn to page 87 and fucking make them yourself. Just be careful not to eat all the dip while you’re waiting for them the bake.
WARNING: These are highly snackable.
They just seem to have that automatic hand-to-mouth action built in. You know what I’m talking about? Like, where you are so busy shovelling food in your mouth that you don’t realise that that was the last potato chip in the bag? Or fig in a blanket on the plate?
So be warned. PAY ATTNETION.
Otherwise that will have been your last fig in a blanket and there won’t be any left, and you’ll be unprepared. And disappointed. And sad. You might even cry.
So gird your lines, fucker! Get ready to eat, and want to eat more! Especially in this cold weather. It’s the season for over-eating, snacking, and snacking some more!
Extra warning: if you eat these by candle light, wrapped up a in blanket of your own, it doubles the cosy factor. Also be warned that the candle light makes it harder to see when the last fig is gone, so have your emotional support system ready, or be prepared to bake some more of these little dudes.
One Comment Add yours
I bought myself, and a few other people, the new Thu—er, Bad Manners cookbook “Brave New Meal” as Christmas gifts. Eager to crack it open and give some recipes a try!
My husband is very resistant.
Anyhow, if you can’t get a Vitamix blender, maybe try a stick mixer? Hand blender? Stick blender? Whatever they’re called. After the cheap one I was gifted broke, I HAD to have another stick blender, and decided I should probably spend more than 25 or 30 dollars. I bought a Kitchenaid stick blender. A cup comes with it to blend things in.
The cup has metric and Imperial measurement lines.
I LOVE this stick blender even more than the other one I had! It can do ice cubes, but it’s only been used for that a couple times. I liquifies tomatoes in seconds. Other vegies and fruits are no problem.
Just an FYI, the blender-business end of the stick blender fits inside a wide-mouth pint canning (or Mason) jar.
Your house is so pretty! Love the flooring.
Now to the figs in blankets. They look delicious! I will definitely have to try those very soon. If I can find fresh figs. We live in a rural area and it can be difficult to find some of the items called for in the Bad Manners recipes.
Thank you! And have a healthy new year!