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4 ounces pancetta
or lean bacon, cooked
and chopped

1⁄2 cup cream cheese

1 tablespoon
chopped chives

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 fresh figs,
stems removed

1⁄4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted

“I have to admit that I didn’t believe in the powers of aphrodisiacs, especially when we began to fight in the middle of testing the recipes. Things can get pretty tense in his kitchen — he tends to be very critical when it comes to that sacred part of his house. I prepared the dessert and appetizer first while he chopped and sautéed his way through the entrée. Tensions arose when he began to complain about the way I cut this, the pan I put that in, etc. . . . I guess I’d just had enough, because after one too many ‘No, you’re supposed to fold it in, not whisk it in,’ I just dunked my hand in the cream cheese and smeared it across his face. A very bold move, I might add — it could’ve gone either way at that point. Fortunately, it went to playful fighting. Then playful licking. Then playful . . . okay, I’m drawing the line on my experience here. Suffice it to say, everything tasted good.” Becky, on her “friend” Norm, Jacksonville, FL

[Update: Becky married someone else. Thank God. Norm was a jerk, but the husband’s fabulous. She’s finally getting all she deserves.]


Set a skillet over medium heat and cook the pancetta until cooked through and crisped. Drain and chop into small pieces.

Combine the pancetta, cream cheese, chives, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Make 2 vertical slices in each fig and spread into 4 quarters. Fill with a generous spoonful of the cream cheese mixture and sprinkle with the walnuts. Eat.

yields 2 servings

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