I thought a lot how I was going to approach the subject of foie gras on my blog. Some people are really, really against it, and some people (like myself) think that it’s perfectly okay to consume foie gras from reputable producers. So if you’re one of those people who thinks this French delicacy is inhumane and gross, you can stop reading here – and for those of you who enjoy a treat of rich, fatted duck/goose liver every now and again, enjoy.
Foie gras was banned in California until just recently – you cannot produce it within the state, so we have to get ours elsewhere. (Being that Jules is French, this was quite upsetting to him, and he makes a very good point that if you’re going to ban foie gras based on “animal cruelty”, the beef and poultry industries would lose most of their production and every fast rood restaurant in existence would close down. He also argues that if you don’t like foie gras but you’re okay with duck confit, you need to check yourself since they come from the same fatted duck.) The bottom line is, if you live in our great state, and have a hankering for some indulgent, luxurious duck liver, you may have quite a difficult time procuring it for less than premium pricing.
So during a holiday to Hawaii, I called a chef friend of mine and asked him to special order us a foie gras, and we happily received the goods in time for us to portion, pack into vacuum-sealed bags, and freeze to take back with us to California. Thus, we have legally obtained this little portion of culinary heaven, and can now enjoy it in the privacy of our own home. Huzzah!
Seared Foie Gras with Caramelized Apples on Toasted Brioche
You will need:
2 slices of foie gras, approximately 1″ thick
2 apples, cored & sliced – Granny Smith is what we used
1-2 T butter
1-2 T sugar
splash of Armagnac (optional)
2 slices of brioche
chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)
Heat one skillet and add butter, melting until it starts to bubble. Add apples, salt and pepper to season. Then, sprinkle the sugar over the apples and let caramelize. When the apples are about done (caramelized, slightly tender), add a splash of Armagnac and flambé. Set aside.
Heat the other skillet on high. Season the foie gras with salt and pepper and then sear in the hot pan, approximately one minute on each side. Remove from pan and set aside to rest. Drain the duck fat from the pan into a separate bowl. Brush both sides of the brioche with duck fat, and then reheat the pan to toast the bread.
To plate: lay one piece of toasted brioche on a plate, top with caramelized apples, then foie gras, and a sprinkling of chopped parsley for garnish. Serve with either a Sauternes or Monbazillac and pretend you’re sitting at a cafe in Bergerac.