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It's traditional to have a Sauternes or other sweet wine with Foie Gras but it IS New Year's Eve and we don't often splurge on good champagne…I suppose we could have the champagne first…perhaps a glass will help me decide…
Best get the cooking done. Anne, from AnneCuisine, has invited me to her virtual New Year's Eve bash and I promised to bring something decadent and in no way related to the diet I start tomorrow. What could fulfill both requirements better than Foie Gras?
Before I get into the recipe I have to share this: Of all of the disclaimers: no preservatives, no hormones, no antibiotics, the one I love is best is No Foie Gras. I read recently that the city of Chicago has banned the sale of Foie Gras. In keeping to the letter of the law, restaurateurs are not selling it but giving it away. 'A lovely slice of fragrant Walnut Bread', price: $25.00. Garnished with pan-seared Foie Gras. Why are the politicians in Chicago more concerned about the welfare of geese then of the homeless people on their streets? To paraphrase Marie Antoinette: Let them eat Foie Gras!
Boy, was that off topic….But does anything more clearly highlight the differences between French and American culture?
The whole topic is actually only important to those of us who love it. There is no middle ground when it comes to this flavorful, decadent dish. I know of no one who just likes it, or thinks it's 'okay'. The thought of it either conjures strong aversion or a dream-like state of anticipated digestive ecstasy. It's pricey so we only indulge once a year, or, in this case, twice. I knew I wanted to do a post on it and would need photos. Since it is, traditionally, our New Year's Eve starter, I would have to make it beforehand as well to get the photos. The sacrifices we make for our blogs, sigh….
Pan-Seared Foie Gras
1 lobe of foie gras an entire foie gras will usually be enough for 4 people. Try for half, or 1 lobe or plan on having it again
1 tbs Balsamic vinegar
2 tsp molasses
3 tbs red wine
2 – 4 slices of walnut or whole grain bread, toasted and cut into quarters
In a small saucepan heat the vinegar, molasses and red wine and allow to reduce by half.
Look at the foie gras – if you see veins going through gently pull them out. Cut 6 – 8 nice slices about 1/2 inch (1.25cm) thick. Keep foie gras cold – take it out of the fridge to slice, then put it back in until ready to cook. Heat a large, heavy, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 4 – 5 minutes. You want it very hot. Put the foie gras slices in the pan and sear 30 – 40 seconds per side for rare. If you want it medium-rare cook another 5 – 10 seconds per side. If you have to have it more done choose something else to have as your starter because you will not like this. Remove to a paper towel for a second to absorb a bit of fat, sprinkle each side with sea salt, put on warm plates, drizzle some of the vinegar reduction on the side and serve with toast points.
Now the notes: It is easiest to clean the foie gras if it is at room temperature.
It is best to slice it with a hot knife – run sharp knife under hot water between cuts.
It has to be cold before searing so pop it in the freezer for 5 – 10 minutes after slicing or clean earlier in the day and keep slices refrigerated until ready to sear.
Warm the plates the same way as the knife – run under hot water, then dry. They shouldn't be hot, just not cold.
After slicing, the leftover foie gras can be made into pate, tossed or doled out to the dogs….OR, best idea, refrigerate and have it as a starter tomorrow night.
Final note: This is intimidating – don't let it be. It is an extremely elegant and very easy first course. It will also, of course, utterly destroy your kitchen – there will be fat everywhere because it will spatter like crazy – but it is worth it …I only do it
once twice a year ….Kitchens can be cleaned, life is for living! Bon Appetit! And if you are morally opposed to Foie Gras ….Sorry!
Check out AnneCuisine for a
rehash recap of the party and recipes of all the luscious food.
Happy New Year!