The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

September 7, 2013

COOKING WITH SIMON: Outdoor Fall Dining

Palestine Herald-Press

PALESTINE — September marks the start of fall, but if you step outside it still feels like summer. Then when you go into a store the aisles are decorated with fall colors and in some places their already selling Halloween and Christmas items. No matter how early the stores put seasonal items out in the aisles, I’m not convinced that it’s time for fall’s colors, clothes or cooler temperatures.

But I’m hopeful that in a few weeks we’ll get a break from the heat and outdoor dining will become a pleasant experience.

And when I think of eating outdoors, my first choice is finger foods. An array of ingredients comes to mind and usually I try to mix a meat or seafood with vegetables and a variety of cheese. Thinking of what is seasonal and very flavorful right now, figs come to mind.

Figs stuffed with goat cheese and chili flakes and then wrapped in bacon. It’s the perfect combination of sweet, creamy, salty, spicy and delicious. Plus these can be cooked on the grill so you don’t have to leave your guests.

Stuffed & Wrapped Figs


6 fresh figs

6 teaspoons cream cheese

3 strips bacon, cut in half lenghtwise

salt and pepper to season

1/2 teaspoon chili flakes

1 green onion, sliced thin

6 toothpicks

2 teaspoons mustard


Mix cream cheese with salt, pepper chili and green onions. Remove stems from figs. Cut from top to bottom but only 3/4s of the way down. Fill slit with cream cheese mixture. Wrap bacon around figs and hold in place with toothpicks. Brush the mustard around the bacon. Grill until bacon is crisp or bake in a 375 degree oven for 15 minutes.


Simon Webster is the Executive Chef of Sabor a Pasion Country House & Bistro a multi-faceted dining destination just outside Palestine. For more information go to or call 903-729-9500.