Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Foie gras season is upon us...

     In addition to knitting patterns, "before" and "after" home decor stories and a beauty column--"oups, une ride!": "Oops, a wrinkle"--the November issue of Modes & Travaux also promises to deliver (in the largest type on the cover) recipes for jams, terrines and foie gras.
    To be honest, there are only two recipes for foie gras inside, one simply coated in salt, the other for foie gras poché au vin rouge. And the ingredients for that are in the photo. One vacuum-packed foie gras and one bottle of Côtes-du-Rhône, as specified by the recipe. It didn't say to wrap the foie gras in cheesecloth but I thought it might be a good idea. Finding it was a different matter. I eventually ended up with a sac à jambon--a ham bag. You can buy these anywhere at this time of year, also entire legs of pork at ridiculously cheap prices. I'm tempted, I'm tempted....
    I turned the gauze sac into a designer ham bag by cutting off one end and wrapping it tightly around the foie gras.  That was after I'd denervé-d it by letting it come to room temperature, feeling around inside it for anything vein-y and pulling it out with my treasured Spencer-Wells artery forceps (an insanely useful kitchen tool when you really need to get a grip).
    Once it had been very, very gently poached, the foie gras was left in the wine overnight. Not a pretty sight and the next morning, it looked so thoroughly disgusting that I started thinking about what else I could serve as a first course that night.
    Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I fished the foie gras out of its winy bath, pressed it hard on to paper towels, and repeated the process until most of the wine had gone. Then I left the foie gras to firm up in the fridge. In the end, it was delicious. Baguette and/or pain d'épices, and fig jam went with it, and glasses of rich amber Loupiac. Then we had salmon with lentils and leeks, various cheeses and a lemon and chocolate mousse. Let me know if you'd like the recipes for either and I'll post them.

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