If you like to pretend you are a Michelin star chef at home like me, this is an ideal dish for you. Foie gras is one of the most prized ingredients on this planet. The rich flavour and the smooth creamy texture of the fat liver is just so delicate and heavenly that I find it so very difficult to describe. Just imagine that it is better than sex!
I dare not say I am an expert in foie gras but I have handled the luxurious ingredient at home on many special occasions over the years. Here are some tips that I had picked up for sharing.
Foie gras is very soft and difficult to handle at room temperature. As such, I suggest that you do not thaw it totally before slicing it. Dip the knife in hot water before slicing the half-thawed liver and reheat knife before cutting the next slice.
The force that you exert during slicing is also very important. You want the foie gras slices to be neatly cut with sharp edges and no wastage. Exert only the force necessary to cut through the foie gras. Place slices on tray, cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to cook and serve.
Seared foie gras is already very delicious on its own but it goes very well with sweet accompaniments, or with a touch of sourness or acidity to balance the richness. It is commonly served with fruits, caramels, dessert wines, vinegar reductions or a combination of the two.
I last prepared this starter dish served with caramelized apple with Cognac flambe and balsamic glaze as part of our Valentine's Day dinner menu 2 weeks ago. Imagine having something better than sex to start off your dinner? This is "Death by Foie Gras"!
Pan seared Foie Gras with Caramelized Apple Flambé au Cognac
Ingredients (Serves 4)
8 slices Restaurant Grade A Foie Gras
Kosher Sea salt
Fresh black pepper from mill
Plain flour for dredging
1 Apple (peeled and sliced into 12 thin wedges)
30g Butter (30g)
2 tbsp Brown sugar
2 shots Cognac/Brandy
Heat a small saute pan and add the butter. Toss the apples in the foaming butter and add the brown sugar.
Toss to caramelise the sugar on the apples over medium to high heat for 2-3 minutes.
Add cognac or brandy quickly and tilt towards the flame to set alight and flambe (or use a lighter)
Flambe until the flames die, and then season with freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.
Heat a medium heavy-bottomed saute pan over high heat, letting it get very very hot. (Note: this is very important)
Season foie gras with salt and pepper. Dredge the foie gras slices in flour to lightly coat. Add foie gras and sear for 45 seconds on each side. Set aside to rest.
Place 3 caramelized apple wedges in the center of each serving plate. Lay 2 foie gras slices on top of the apple. Drip balsamic glaze around the foie gras.
Garnish with fresh thyme (or mache leaves) and serve immediately.