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Foie Gras and Orange Reduction Amuse Bouche


(serves 10)
One day I was having a crepe suzette with ice cream and I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be lovely to have some foie gras with this? Somewhere along the way I dropped the crepe and ended up with a superb 3 layer foie gras suzette amuse bouche. The tart but sweet orange reduction provides an interesting contrast to the richness of the foie gras while the shot glass format allows you to control the usual appearance and temperature issues associated with canned foie gras, and to serve portions that are small enough to not overwhelm the stomach or pocket.    
 

Ingredients

  1. Canned ‘Bloc’ Foie Gras (200g)
  2. Oranges (2)
  3. Butter (80g)
  4. Shallots (10)
  5. Vanilla Ice Cream (1 scoop)
  6. Marscapone (1 scoop)
  7. Marmalade
  8. Dark Soya Sauce
  9. Lemon Grass 
  10. Cointreau

Preparation 

  1. First anbd foremost, make sure you have 10 shot glasses (the double shot type).
  2. Squeeze the juice from your oranges after cutting them into halves. Peel and then chop the shallots finely. If you have trouble finding shallots, use a (not 10) red onion instead.
  3. Melt the butter in a pan and stir fry the shallot bits on low heat for about 10 minutes.
  4. Pour in the orange juice and place the orange rind, cut side down in the pan and continue cooking for a minute so some of the bitterness bleeds into the juice.
  5. Next, discard the rind, then add 2 heaped t of orange marmalade and 2t lemon grass. Proceed to boil this down till it begins to thicken. It should take a while, don’t use too high a flame after the initial stage. 
  6. When the volume has been reduced to a thin syrup consistency, stir in 0.5t soya sauce. Allow the mixture to cool; it will thicken as it cools.
  7. Divide the foie gras into the 10 shot glasses. Compact and flatten the foie gras with a small spoon by moving the shot glass in a circular fashion. Clean the oil off the top half of the inner surface of the shot glasses with a tissue for better visual impact.
  8. When the orange butter reduction has cooled, spoon it into the shot glasses as  a second layer over the foie gras. See this picture here:
  9. Left tray has foie gras patted down, right tray has orange butter sauce on top of the foie gras

  10. In a bowl, mix one ice cream scoop of vanilla ice cream, 1 scoop of marscapone and 1T of cointreau. Its ok if the ice cream melts. Spoon the mixture carefully into the shot glasses as the final layer. Add a few needles of lemongrass as a ganish.
  11. Keep the shots refrigerated chill in the freezer for 5 min to bring the temperature down further before serving. Serve with a small spoon, instructing your guests to eat all 3 layers together.

Notes

  • Use the type of canned foie gras that is labeled ‘bloc’. Just use it straight out of the can, its 98% pure foie gras and fully cooked. Do not use fresh foie gras since it is raw. Don’t use foie gras pate or mousse since you are only using a small amount per amuse bouche and you want maximum impact. 
  • Soya sauce is the secret ingredient, don’t skip it. It adds just the right amount of saltiness and darkens the orange reduction to the right colour. Use the dark soya sauce if you can, it is thicker.
  • The marscapone reduces the sweetness from the ice cream and allows for a stiffer consistency at room temperature. Don’t skip it.
  • I do not recommend this but if you are cheating by using store bought orange juice, it is essential you get the type with pulp.
  • You can use Grande Marnier instead of Cointreau. If you absolutely hate alcohol, add the cointreau to the orange juice so the alcohol boils off. However, the top creamy layer will lose all of its orange aroma and undertone.

The Apple Version

this version is made in almost the same way as the orange version. Simply make the following changes to the ingredients: 

  • replace onion with one apple cut to 1/4 inch cubes, without skin
  • replace lemongrasss with 0.5t nutmeg and 0.5t cinnamon
  • replace orange juice with 1/2 cup white wine
  • replace marmalade with 1T sugar
  • replace cointreau with sherry
 
 

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Foie Gras in Apple and Red Wine Reduction


(serves 3)
In my opinion, pan seared foie gras is the pièce de résistance of French Cuisine. When cooked in this method, you’ll find your foie gras smooth and creamy on the inside while wrapped in a thin crispy shell. It is probably the only instance where liver can actually taste delicious. For this particular version, I have chosen to use a combination of red wine, apple and marmalade to balance out the slightly oily taste of hot foie gras. 

Ingredients 

  1. Fresh Goose Foie Gras (200g)
  2. Apple (1)
  3. Onion (1/2)
  4. Pork Stock Cube
  5. Coarse Cut Marmalade 
  6. Fennel Seeds
  7. Red Wine (1/2 cup)
  8. Woustershire Sauce
  9. Butter
  10. Nutmeg
  11. Corn Flour    

Preparation 

  1. For this recipe you need half a cup of pork stock(salted), which is really an inconveniently small amount of stock. What I usually do is place half a pork stock cube, 1t of fennel seeds and 3/4 cup of boiling water in the microwave for 2 minutes. I then leave it covered for an hour for the seeds to release their flavour. If you can’t get pork stock cubes, you’ll just need to make the stock the old fashioned way, with pork bones.
  2. Your foie gras should be fresh, the type that is sealed in a chilled vacuum pack. Give some thought as to how its best to divide it equally into 3 while maintaining 1/2 inch thick pieces. You’ll normally need to slice diagonally. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper on both sides and then dust the pieces of foie gras thoroughly with corn flour. The foie gras is delicate and I find its best to do the cutting/seasoning/dusting on a cutting board. Leave to dry in the fridge.
  3. Peel and cut one (red) apple into 1/4 inch cubes and do the same with half an onion. Pan fry these with a knob of butter for about 8 minutes, stirring frequently. 
  4. Next, add half a cup of red wine, the half cup of stock (minus the fennel seeds), a dash of woustershire sauce and 3t (heaping) of coarse cut marmalade. Continue to simmer. When the liquid begins to bubble on the pan surface, adjust heat to the minimum and occasionally lift the pan off the heat to avoid getting a burnt taste. Stop when you have reduced the liquid to a thin syrup-like consistency.
  5. When the wine reduction is done, preheat a second pan with a light drizzle of olive oil. When this pan is searing hot, place your foie gras in straight from the fridge. Fry for one minute on each side and then thirty seconds on each side (i.e. 3 minutes in total). Remove immediately onto your serving plate, but leave the drippings in the pan.
  6. While the pan is still very hot, pour the apple wine reduction into the pan and mix well. Sprinkle in some black pepper and nutmeg, then check for taste. If your stock wasn’t salty enough, you might need to add some salt. Spoon the finished apple and wine reduction on and around your plated foie gras and you’re ready to impress.

Notes

  • You fry the foie gras straight from the fridge for two reasons. Firstly, this is the best way to get the outside crispy without overcooking the inside. Secondly, when left at room temperature, raw fois gras wil lose its shape.
  • If you like the inside to be soft and juicy, make your foie gras pieces 3/4 inch thick instead.
  • As you are reducing red wine without meat, do not use high tannin wines like cabernet sauvignon and shiraz.
  • For this recipe, it doesn’t matter whether you use Corn Flour or Corn Starch. The idea is to give an attractive sheen and a nice crisp exterior to the foie gras. The only time you need to worry is if you use corn flour as a thickening agent, in which case if there is some flour mixed into the starch, it will leave an after taste.
  • If you like foie gras, check out my Foie Gras Creme Brulee. 
 
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Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Appetizers, French, Poultry, Recipe

 

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Pesto Marmalade Salad


(serves 6-8) 
I discovered the pure magic of combining marmalade with pesto one time when I was trying to use up some leftover ingredients for a salad. The result of my thriftiness was this unique salad-hater’s salad. It’s slightly sweet but best of all, it contains all your regular breakfast staples like jam, toast and eggs. If you like coleslaw but hate ‘regular’ green salads, this is the salad for you.  

Ingredients 

  1. Arugula (12 oz)
  2. Marmalade (1t, heaped)
  3. Olive Oil (1/3 cup)
  4. Balsamic Vinegar (4T)
  5. Pesto (4t)
  6. Pine Nuts (1/4 cup)
  7. Croutons (1 cup)
  8. Eggs (2)
  9. Black Pepper
  10. Cardamon

Preparation

  1. Hard boil 2 eggs and if you are not buying ready-made croutons, dice some overnight bread and toast them into croutons in a toaster oven.
  2. Spoon the marmalade and pesto into a bowl that will hold the dressing and microwave for 15 seconds to soften the marmalade.
  3. Add the olive oil and vinegar, plus 1t of black pepper, a pinch of salt and a pinch of cardamon (use nutmeg if you don’t have any). This completes the dressing.
  4. Put the hard boilled eggs through the egg slicer 3 times, each in a different direction. On the third time, each egg will literally fall apart, so do it over your salad bowl containing the arugula to catch the little egg bits. In anycase, have all the egg end up  in the salad bowl when you are done.
  5. When its time to serve your salad, drizzle your dressing into the arugula and eggs and then toss. When the yolks have melded into the dressing, add the crutons and pine nuts and toss lightly a second time. Serve immediately to keep your arugula crisp.

Notes

  • On occasion I also use baby spinach and it works well, and that results in a different look. I only used arugula in this recipe because its supposed to (actually it does) pair nicely with fruit and nuts.
  • I’d recommend heavier breads like farm bread for the crutons, so they stay crunchy longer.
  • I swear by coarse-cut marmalade, the tiny bits of peel add character I think.
  • In smaller portions, you can also use this salad as decorative side-salad on your main dishes or hot appetizers.
 
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Posted by on October 14, 2009 in A Kobi Original, Appetizers, Recipe, Salad

 

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