Next to caviar, Foie Gras is recognized as one of the world’s most exquisite delicacies. Although this luxury food dates back to the ancient Egyptians, it was made popular by the French and has become a staple in their cuisine. In essence, Foie Gras is the creamy delicate liver of “fattened” ducks or geese. The rich fragile nature of the liver can make cooking with foie gras feel daunting to those that have never tried it; However, this decadent ingredient is amazingly versatile and so delicious that it is worth the risk of messing up a recipe or two.
Tips for Cooking with Foie Gras
- To avoid overcooking when you are pan frying foie gras, cut the delicate pink liver into half-inch thick slices. If you want to keep your serving portions small, cut each slice into smaller portions of the same width.
- Prevent your foie gras from falling apart by bringing it to room temperature before slicing. Also heat up your knife under hot running water in between slices.
- Be sure to heat your skillet until it is smoking hot before carefully laying the foie gras into pan. If it doesn’t immediately start rendering the fat or smoking, your pan was not hot enough. In this case, quickly remove the foie gras from the pan and allow it to heat up some more before searing it again.
- Foie Gras cooks fast; 30 seconds to a minute on each side so pay close attention while its cooking to avoid burning this delicacy.
- After removing foie gras from the pan, let it rest for approximately one minute.
- If you aren’t able to cook with foie gras soon after you plan on buying it, purchasing frozen foie gras can be a great option. When high grade foie gras is flash frozen, the water freezed into microcrystals, leaving the structure of this duck liver delicacy identical to fresh foie gras.
Recipes with Foie Gras
Finding ways to excite the palate beyond the typical everyday fare can be as simple as including an exotic ingredient like truffle mushrooms or Foie Gras. In the recipes with foie gras below, cooking with Foie Gras is the main attraction.
All you will need to create this sumptuous dish are; 6 dried figs (split and quartered), 1 cup cognac, 1 cup sugar, a tablespoon of whole grain mustard, ¼ teaspoon hot mustard powder, pinch of salt, 4 slabs of foie gras, fresh ground black pepper, 1 tablespoon sliced chives, coarse sea salt and 4 figs.
While the Foie Gras is coming to room temperature, make the Fig Mostarda by combine dried figs, cognac, sugar, whole grain mustard, and mustard powder in a small saucepan and simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a bare simmer and cook until syrupy; about 30 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside until cool. Season with a pinch of salt.
Prepare the Foie Gras slicing and scoring it on one side. Season it liberally on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a small skillet over high heat for at least three minutes. Pan fry the foie gras in the skillet scored-side-down. While the foie gras is cooking, swirl the skillet gently every few seconds until it is deeply browned and crisp on each side. Transfer the Foie Gras to a plate to rest for at least one minute before using a small spoon to glace it with some of the Figs Mostarda.
Finish up this dish by spooning some the rest of the Fig Mostarda onto serving plates and place one slice of foie gras on each. Top with thinly sliced chives, coarse sea salt, and fresh fig slices. Serve immediately with lightly dressed greens. This recipe is from J. Kenji Lopez-Alt of Serious Eats.
Beef Filet with Foie Gras and truffles.
For a simple meat lover’s dinner on a warm summer night, invite a couple of friends over and try this recipe from Composer Gioacchino Rossini. For ingredients you will need 3 tbsp. clarified butter, 4 (1⁄2''-thick) slices baguette, 4 oz. fresh foie gras, cut into 2'' rounds about 1⁄2'' thick, Salt and freshly ground black pepper, 4 (6-oz.) beef filets, at room temperature, 1⁄2 cup madeira, 2 cups rich veal or beef stock, 6 oz. demi-glace, 8 tbsp. butter cut into pieces and 1 ounce of the black truffle sliced thin.
Begin by preheating the oven to 200°. In a nonstick skillet, heat clarified butter over medium heat. Add croutons and fry until golden. Keep warm in the oven. Wiped the skillet clean with paper towels. Return it to the stove on high heat. While the pan is heating up, season Foie Gras with salt and pepper. Gently place into the hot skillet and brown for approximately 30 seconds on both sides then set aside in the oven to keep warm along with the croutons.
Heat skillet to a medium-high heat while seasoning the filets with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about five minutes per side or until medium rare. Transfer filets to the platter with croutons and foie gras to keep warm.
Add madeira to the skillet at medium-high heat and cook for about two minutes or until alcohol has evaporated and reduced slightly. Add stock and demi-glace then increase heat to high and let cook until liquid is reduced by three-quarters and slightly syrupy. Gradually add the sliced butter, a few pieces at a time and swirl skillet over heat until butter is melted and sauce is velvety.
Place croutons on a warm plate, top with filet and add one piece of sautéed Foie Gras on each filet. Top each piece of Foie Gras with three or four truffle slices then spoon sauce over the top and dinner is ready for serving.