Caramelized figs with star anise and cinnamon
A couple of days ago, Fox aired Master Chef’s season finale. Still in disbelief how beautiful Josh’s lamb turned out! I felt inspired and rushed to the kitchen. I couldn’t make anything as fancy as that lamb as it was about 10PM at this point, but had to pretend that I, too, had Gordan Ramsay watching over me. Had some figs and Haagen Diaz ice cream…and threw in a couple of other ingredients I had at hand. It was quick and refreshing. (Note: measurements may not be accurate; did this on a whim)

/yields 2 servings/

6 fresh figs, halved lengthwise
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1 tsp of cinnamon
2 pieces of star anise
1 tbs of lemon juice
1 tbs of butter
your choice of ice cream (I opted for vanilla)

1. Toss the figs in brown sugar and cinnamon
2. Heat the pan on medium, then place the butter. The pan should be hot enough so that you see the butter skidding across the pan.
3. Add the fig-sugar mixture, star anise, and lemon juice. Do a quick stir to get a good mix.
4. Let it sit on the pan over medium/med low heat until caramelization occurs. The figs are caramelized until you see the juices of the figs, lemon, sugar, and etc. combine to form a thick consistency.
5. Once it is done, grab a scoop or two of your favorite ice cream. Top it off the figs and its juices; garnish with basil leaves and star anise.