Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Seared Duck Foie Gras

The European vacation I was planning this year didn't happen, and I'm not too sad about it. One thing that I really miss (besides seeng my family) is fine French food.

Fortunately, I am not the only food-curious one out there, and a foodie friend who was looking for fat duck liver for a long time, ever since they banned the imported goose foie gras in California, and he was worried that duck liver may follow, finally found it, and very close to home, too - in Sonoma, at http://www.artisanfoiegras.com/ . They only do mail-order, but the packaging is so good that it isn't a problem. The liver comes vacuum-packed, an a foam insulated box, with a couple of ice packs added.

The liver that my friend brought me was the size of a small duck, so we cooked a half of it for two good size entrees, and saved the other half for later. The liver stays fresh refrigerated for a few days.

Of course I couldn't resist and tasted a small slice row, and it is heaven. It's even better pan-seared, with green salad, caramelized onions and Fuji apples and sel gris. Cooked according to the instruction on the Artisan's website, complete with the stovetop fan. Oil is not needed - the liver releases so much fat that after 30 seconds it's floating in fat. Care should be taken not to overcook it, or it will just melt completely. It behaves not unlike ice cream, and when cooked, has similar texture. So I cooked the 1 inch slices exactly 30 seconds per side in a very hot pan. The fat that's left over in the pan smells as sweet as the dish itself, and can be saved either for sauces of for frying.

The other half we cooked the same way and served with sauteed figs and champagne grapes, a great combination too.

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