Here it is at last! The foie gras I’d been so looking forward to preparing and eating. The big question: was it worth it?
The answer: a definite YES!
This stuff is like heaven on a fork. Here’s the progression of how things went:
If you look at any posts this week, they’ll most likely be from our 2007 wine party. This was, I guess, the featured dish of the party (outside of the wine, that is). I’d been looking into whether I’m pro-foie gras or anti-foie gras in an earlier post. My conclusion was that I’m pro. So I put in my order, and the foie gras got here last Thursday.
Getting ready for the party, I had several things I was cooking, actually starting on Thursday evening. Saturday was pretty busy, with baking 2 kinds of bread and some crackers as well as fixing the mushrooms for crepes made earlier and prepping and grilling steak au poivre. With all the hecticity (yeah, not a word, I know), I realized that, even with my best intentions, I wasn’t going to get photos of everything. I just didn’t have the time. Part of this, as a result, is done as a recreation the next day.
The first thing I did was to remove the foie gras from the packaging and rinse it. I cut it in 1/2″ to 3/4″ slices. It was kept cold, and I used a very sharp knife that I warmed under running hot water, and the foie gras sliced very easily.
I’d fixed brioche earlier in the day with the intent of using it for a base for the foie gras. I sliced the brioche and grilled the slices on a hot grill, just until it browned. I was half surprised that I didn’t burn any of them, and found that the slices didn’t need any butter or oil; they already had plenty in the dough!
I knew that the foie gras would smoke a lot, so I didn’t really want to do it on the stove. Instead, I had the grill already going, so I put a pan on the grill, with the grate close to the coals, and pan seared the foie gras there.
In a hot pan, the foie gras takes very little time to sear, about 30 seconds per side. I then put the seared foie gras on top of the grilled brioche and topped it with an onion relish I made earlier.
The onion relish is something I’m going to make more of to have around, but I didn’t get photos of it. It was really easy, though. I diced four large sweet onions and put them in a skillet with clarified butter (unsalted butter or butter and olive oil works, too). I caramelized the onion a bit, just getting some nice brown color, but not too dark, and I added some balsamic vinegar along with balsamic glaze with fig. The fig took this to a different place! I’m going to try some fresh figs with straight balsamic vinegar in the onion another time. I just put a bit of relish on top of the foie gras to serve.
Unfortunately, it started to rain, and my coals got a bit wet and cooled off, so I finished the last few slices inside.
The result was just great. One of our friends didn’t like the texture, which was fine; she tried it at least. Others seemed to really like it a lot, or they were just being nice. I still had some left over, as there was a lot of other food, too, so I wrapped it tightly in foil and froze it. I just pray that it freezes as well as I’ve heard.
So my conclusion on fixing foie gras the way that I did it is that I would do it again. And again. It’s really something special, which is why I won’t do it too often. Okay, the real reason I won’t do it too often is that it’s ridiculously expensive, but it’s also nice to keep some things special. It was very easy to do. I would be willing to try different forms of foie gras, but I don’t know that any would match that caramelized duck fat you get from searing the slices.