Thursday, January 28, 2010

Foie Gras

This post will create some controversy, as the topic of Foie Gras always does. Having a huge interest and taste for French Charcuterie and it's traditions, It does grace my table from time to time. But all Fois Gras production is not the same. The grower of this particular liver keeps their birds in "paddocks" so the can move about and be social with other birds. Yes, they are still over fed to fatten the birds liver for consumption, but the question that remains is how different is this process from other mainstream meat production. One has to assume that some suffering is involved with any raising of animals for human consumption. Feed lot animals, free range animals, the end result is all the same. The fact remains that it is consumed in great volume, and the industry has come along way from the feeder cages that prevented the birds from moving at all. Hell, commercial egg production is still at the feeder cage stage stacked three and four cages high!

I have prepared Foie Gras in many different ways. Sometimes with a sweet profile, and sometimes with a savory profile. The thing that I always consider in presentation is not to over do the flavors as to lose the flavor of the liver. My wife prefers the sweeter preparations, so this is how I did it last night. I was sublime!

Foie Gras in Port Wine Reduction

8oz Foie Gras (sliced 1/2 inch thick)
1 Granny Smith Apple
1 Half Head Radicchio
1 cup Good Port Wine
1 Tbs. Grade B Maple Syrup
1 Shallot (fine mince)
1 tsp. Hazel Nut Oil
1/2 cup Red Grapes
1/4 tsp. Allspice

Technique: Slice the liver and keep cool while preparing sauce. Cut radicchio into very fine strips. Cut apple into very small batons. Mix together to make a micro slaw, and toss with hazel nut oil. Saute shallot in a little oil until soft. Add port, maple syrup, allspice, and grapes. Reduce to a sec (syrup). Get a cast iron or non stick skillet good and hot. Drop slices of foie gras into skillet for approx. 30 seconds per side (no more!). This will smoke a lot! Open the doors, turn on the fan, get ready for the smoke alarm to go off. To plate, place some of the micro-slaw in the center of your plate, shingle 2 to 3 pieces of the foie gras over that, and drizzle the reduce port sauce over the top. serve immediately!

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