It's been so long since I have seen any evidence of memes, that I was beginning to wonder if they had crept under the rug and died.
Then I was tagged – not once, but twice in the space of a week for different versions of the same meme.
Being the good sport that I am(cough, cough), I'll participate in both.
Note that while I will happily answer the questions I am not promising to answer either seriously or truthfully.
First I'll tackle the '8 Questions posed by Flavorful World: (And go check out his blog to find out why robots think humans taste like bacon…. I think we should worry)
1. If presented with the opportunity to prepare a meal in your own kitchen for someone of your choice whom you’ve never personally met, for whom would you prepare it, and why did you choose that person?
Einstein. We could have fascinating dinner conversation and he wouldn't be overly critical of the food – more important things to think about and all that.
2. In what city have you eaten best, and why?
Paris. Why? I really need to explain this?
3. Describe your fantasy three-stop culinary tourism, if presented with the opportunity to travel to/eat in three locales you’ve never visited.
Morocco, because I have a new tagine and a new love-affair with all things Moroccan; Japan, because it's so terribly hard to find good Japanese cooking anywhere; Greece, because I love it all and want to eat it all, en situ.
4. Finish this sentence: A food I love so much that I could eat myself sick on it is _____.
Foie gras…. Actually, I think I have….. Hmmmmm
5. What is the last delicious meal that you created accidentally or through sheer improvisation, without knowing ahead of time what it would turn out to be?
I'm much to anal to have accidental creations…. I do create most of my recipes – and do it in my head, first. I may not mentally get the techniques right, but I'm not wrong on the flavors…
6. What is the favorite comfort food of someone close to you that only you can prepare exactly the way they like it?
If I don't get the soft dog food mixed just right with the kibble both girls get quite miffed! (Everyone close to me cooks their own comfort food – the dogs don't have opposable thumbs.)
7. If presented with your own kitchen-equipped food truck from which to prepare and dispense a single style of food, what kind of food would you sell?
Risotto, any flavor, any style, any time. I'd be a huge success!
8. Train A leaves Cincinnati traveling east at 115 miles per hour @ 1:47 pm. Train B leaves San Diego traveling north at 99 miles per hour @ 2:15 pm. What’s the capital of South Dakota?
Pierre (pronounced peer) – unless they changed it (and now pronounce it correctly). I've even seen the Corn Palace!
Next up with '10 Questions' is Ina, of Gluten Free, Delightfully Delicious (Great recipe for Greek chicken)
1. What is your absolute favorite food? (this can be a tough one, so go ahead and include a few)
Still going with the pan-seared foie gras…. followed by dark, dark chocolate and coming in third: risotto, any kind
2. Who is your favorite Food Mentor, or Chef, and why?
Ramond Blanc. Two reasons: I had my first truly incredible, gastronomic, non-traditional feast at Le Manoir aux Quatre Saisons, and he was kind enough to spend a few minutes chatting and gift me with his cookbook, inscribed, of course.
3. What meal did you first cook, that inspired you to become a better cook, and to create new recipes?
A boyfriend in collage used to get 'damaged' Cornish Game Hens from his mother, missing a wing of leg. Of course the real challenge was cooking anything after beer and football all day….
4. What is your favorite cook book?
I love cookbooks that tell me about the country or region and the history of the food. I only read for fun cookbooks that use things like Tator Tots in the recipes.
You asked gadget, as opposed to tool…. My garlic smasher:
6. Where in the world would you most love to eat, and what food would that be?
I could really go for some duck from La Tour d'Argent in Paris, or some pheasant from La Dama, in Barcelona, or some Jamon Jabugo de Bellota (Pata Negra) with a glass of Vega Sicilia Unico (Ribera del Duero). Anyone want to join me?
7. What are some of your favorite recipes on your blog?
Um, I wouldn't post them if I didn't like them….. But I'm rather fond of anything cooked in wine. I just redid the index – have a look! (I haven't double-checked all the links yet)
8. What food, will you absolutely not eat and why?
Insects. Why? I really need to explain this?
9. Do you grow your own food? And if so, what is your favorite food to grow?
Tomatoes. It's simply not possible to improve the flavor of a tomato, fresh from the garden, still warm from the sun.
10.Who in the world, would you most love to share a beautiful dinner with?
Mon mari, of course. He shares my tastes in food, wine and a leisurely pace to enjoy both. He's willing to go to dinner at midnight (in Madrid) and spend the requisite 4 hours enjoying every bite. (Here in France we dine at 9:00)
Because two of the questions were about my favorite food – I thought I'd post it again….
Let the diatribes begin….
Pan-Seared 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 lobe of foie gras
1 tbs Balsamic vinegar
2 tsp molasses
3 tbs red wine
2 – 4 slices of 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 until very hot. A drop of water should sizzle and evaporate instantly.
Put the foie gras slices in the pan and sear 40 – 50 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 with vinegar reduction and serve with toast points.
Now the notes: It is easiest to clean the foie gras if it is at room temperature, but may not need cleaning. Mine didn't.
It is best to slice it with a hot knife – run sharp knife under hot water.
It has to be cold before searing so refrigerate after slicing for at least 15 minutes.
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, refrigerated for use within
2 days or frozen for use within 2 months.
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 a
year ….Kitchens can be cleaned, life is for living!
Now – I would like to invite anyone looking to have some fun to pick your favorite 10 questions and answer them on your own blog!