Friday, March 1, 2013

Pan seared Foie Gras with Caramelized Apple Flambé au Cognac




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!

The expensive ingredient used to be available only in Europe but nowadays most fine restaurants around the world serve foie gras dishes. We can even buy restaurant grade foie gras for home consumption but of course this is limited to only special occasions, at least for my household.

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
Balsamic Reduction/Glaze

Caramelised apples
1 Apple (peeled and sliced into 12 thin wedges)
30g Butter (30g)
2 tbsp Brown sugar
2 shots Cognac/Brandy


Directions

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.  





41 comments:

  1. Very Posh Chef! We love foie-gras too, but we just eat it as it is with our bread :O

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    1. Thanks Annie! As it is? You mean raw or are you referring to foie gras terrine?

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  2. I would die for this dish! Foie gras is one of my fav ingredients... and pan searing is one of the best ways to cook it! "Death by Foie Gras", come to mama... haha!

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  3. Sigh. I really want to cook fg at home one day. Te other half doesn't eat it so can't really cook just for one. Plus I'm not really sure if we can even get restaurant grade here.

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    1. Hi Kelly... agree it's tough then... or you can gather your whole family? :)

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  4. Nice! My husband will love it if I can make this once a week for him. :D I've never even thought of making foie gras dish at home! You always inspire me with amazing dishes. I should introduce your blog to my husband (so he can get inspiration from you AND cook for me!).

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  5. This is definitely a must over here in France for any festive occasion. You've had made it 'trés gourmet' indeed! ;)

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  6. I was given two cans by my friend in NZ - one whole and the other pate (if I had figured out correctly what I could barely understand on the tins). I guess I can eat the pate with bread, like all other pates...but I wouldn't know what to do with the other bigger can. Ummmm...no, I'm not sending it to you! Hehehehehehe!!!! (But you hop over here personally, I may consider parting with it. LOL!!!!)

    These few days on Facebook, I've seen people sharing stuff on cruelty related to foie gras production. Gee! I've never even seen it...much less eat it so I never bothered to read and find out what it's all about. I guess it's something for the rich and famous (Wink! Wink!) and those miserable people are just being jealous?

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    1. Hi Arthur! Canned foie gras should be in the form of pate or mousse. Anyway, don't sit on it for too long... check the expiry dates! Suggest we figure out that together! :D

      There's always controversy when people talk about force feeding geese/ducks for foie gras. However, farmers and foie gras producers have been defending that and maintained that there's no cruelty involved. They even organized tours for people to understand the whole process.

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  7. Oh, looking at the pic I thought it was dining at a posh restaurant. Errr.....Alvin, may I book a table for two at this Chef And Sommelier Restaurant?

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    1. Thanks Mel! I'll inform you when my Restaurant 2706 is opened to public! :)

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  8. You DO cook and style just like a Michelin chef!!! This is just gorgeous and I'd definitely enjoy eating it :)

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  9. I don't really know how to eat foie gras... but thatapple sauce on it sounds simply delicious! Are you sure you are not a chef? Everything you cook is restaurant-grade!

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    1. Thanks Mich! Still learning the ropes! ;D

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  10. Such an elegant dish , Alvin ! And drool-worthy as well :D You don't have to pretend , you are a Michelin star HOME chef - for now *wink* lol

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  11. I have always been curious about the delicateness of foie gras, as I have read some articles on that, until I saw one documentary on how the goose and duck are fed to fatten their liver. I don't think that I have the courage to eat it! LOL!
    You are a wonderful chef, your dish really looks like from a 5-star restaurant! Well done!

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    1. Hi Joyce.... Thanks Thanks!

      See my reply to Arthur on the force-feeding...

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  12. Now this is sophistication at its finest...great job, Chef. This looks amazing all around!!

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  13. Wow Wow, this is fine dining standard !! amazing and super delicious!
    By the way, Thanks for your full support and participation given to my CNY delights event, appreciate much!

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    1. Thanks A-Chi!

      I also need to salute you for your tireless effort in getting all the CNY posts organised and collated. Really job well done! We can compile that into a CNY cookbook?!

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  14. Alvin, that is very posh! I have never eaten foie gras. I do love liver, stir fried or in noodle soup. If I remember correctly, Luan of EVC made foie gras and after seeing the process, I don't think I will like it :)

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    1. Thanks PH! You mean the feeding process? Ha... That's really debatable ... But nothing can write off the taste and class of foi gras. :)

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  15. Hi Alvin, I have not eaten this but it sure look very inviting and mouthwatering. Nice plating, look like from exclusive restaurant. Excellent click!

    Best regards.

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  16. This reminds me of the Rougie foie gras pate with truffles that I still have in my fridge. Gosh i better eat it before it turns bad. Very nicely done!!

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    1. Thanks Eiling! Yes, better track the expiry.. the pate will be good with water crackers or baguette toast. If you have problem with that, send it over. :P

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  17. Alvin,
    I have never eaten this before. Forgive me for my ignorance about this. But from what you share I believe this is to die for :p
    I am like Mich, more into your apple flambé . I tried once (japanese recipe )a banana flambé pairing with a chiffon cake . I love the cognac taste in flambé.
    Thanks for sharing, you are indeed very posh :D
    mui

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    1. Hi Mui! For banana, I like to use rum, raisin and nuts with butter and sugar to caramelize the banana. Try it!

      Thanks.

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  18. One problem back home is the fact that foie isn't readily available in the form of fresh foie, thus very often foie gras poele often actually leaves a lingering aftertaste with its excessive oil stuck to the back of your throat. If you ever attempt it again, maybe you could try poaching then roasting foie? less foie is also wasted.

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    1. Hi Paul! Thanks for the tips and suggestion!

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  19. Hi, came across your site when I was craving for foie gras. Do u mind sharing where u got your foie gras from? And can you cook half and refreeze the other half? Thanks

    Irene

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    1. Hi Irene! Welcome to my space.

      I usually get my stuff from Huber's @ Dempsey but there are many gourmet shops out there.

      Not advisable but if you have to do that, I would suggest that you request the butcher to halve and vacuum pack it for you. Or you can also invite me to your place to finish the other half! :D

      Enjoy!

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  20. Awesome guide- made it for my whole family on CNY and they loved it!

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