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Small Bites

Chorizo & Fig Tapas

by Jane Worthington-Roth

When we go out for dinner, my husband and I often order three or four appetizers to split, rather than two full meals. This is a concept that the Spanish have perfected with their tapas. Italians gather for antipasti. Similarly, many Middle Eastern cultures eat a selection of small dishes called mezze.

I love inviting friends over for pot luck meals where they each bring an appetizer to share as the meal. It’s quick, easy and lets you try many varied flavors in a single sitting.

I always have some chorizo (chouriço) sausage in my freezer and I recently saw a nice plastic four-pack of fresh figs for sale. Looks like a recipe for success - It’s time for tapas!

Chorizo & Fig Tapas

Extra virgin olive oil
1 package of chorizo sausage, cut into thin slices
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup sherry
½ cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
4 figs, stems removed and cut into quarters

In a frying pan, sauté the chorizo in a little olive oil until lightly browned. Remove the chorizo from the pan, then sauté the onions on low heat until translucent, adding in a little more olive oil, if necessary. Add in the garlic and sauté for an additional minute. Don't let the garlic brown or it will become bitter.

Stir in the sherry, vinegar and brown sugar and heat on low until simmering. Place the figs in the pan, cut side down, return the chorizo to the pan and heat until the figs are warm. If the mixture seems a bit dry, add another splash of sherry. Heat until the figs are warm.

Serve with a loaf of crusty bread.