Foie Gras with Toasted Hazelnuts
This is a dish not to be savored lightly (foie gras is, after all, a controversial ingredient, and in 2022 the sale of it will be banned in NYC).
Nor is Foie Gras Torchon a dish to be created easily. Skill, daring, and attention to detail are the unlisted ingredients necessary for this delicacy to be a success. But when it is done correctly—my, oh my.
For the foie gras:
- 1 lobe of A grade foie gras
- 1/2 teaspoon pink salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon quatre épices
- 1 cup Madeira wine
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 bottle of sweet dessert wine
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
For the pickled grapes and apples:
- 1 bunch red seedless grapes
- 2 apples, melon-balled
- 2 cups white balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
For the hazelnuts:
- 1 cup hazelnuts
- 2 tablespoons butter
For the ginger bread:
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 egg
- 1 cup molasses
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water, hot
For the white balsamic caviar:
- 1 cup quality white balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon agar agar
For the applesauce:
- 2 apples, peeled and quartered
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white wine
1Bring the foie gras up to room temperature. Carefully remove all the veins while keeping the lobes as intact as possible. Place the foie gras in a bowl of milk overnight to extract as much blood as possible.
2On day 2, pat the foie gras dry. Mix all the dry spices and season the lobe. Add the Madeira and let it sit for at least 6 hours.
3Remove the foie gras, and in a clean kitchen towel, torque the lobe into a cylinder.
4Bring 1 bottle of dessert wine to a simmer with enough water to fit the foie gras. Place the foie gras in the pot and turn it off. Set a timer for 90 seconds. Remove the foie gras to an ice bath and let sit until chilled.
5Once the foie gras is chilled, torque the cylinder as tightly as possible, and hang it in the refrigerator overnight.
6On day 3, for the pickled grapes and apples, bring the vinegar and water to a boil and pour over the apples and grapes. Reserve.
7For the hazelnuts, in a sauté pan, lightly toast the butter and nuts until they’re light golden-brown. When the nuts are cool, chop roughly and reserve.
8For the gingerbread, preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9-inch square pan.
9In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the egg and then the molasses.
10In another bowl, blend all the dry ingredients, and then blend the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture. Stir in hot water and pour it all into a pan.
11Bake for 1 hour, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
12When cool, cut the gingerbread into circles with a 2-inch biscuit/cookie cutter.
13For the white balsamic caviar, in a saucepan, bring the ingredients to a boil while stirring constantly. Pour it all into a bowl and let it set. When cool, blend it until smooth in a blender.
14Pour the blended caviar into a fine-tipped squirt bottle, and drip it into a bowl of cold oil. Drain the oil off and reserve the caviar.
15For the apple sauce, sauté the apples and butter until lightly browned. Add the sugar and deglaze with wine. Purée until smooth.
16To serve, unwrap the foie gras from the towel. Place it on a cutting board and, with a hot knife, slice the foie gras into even portions.
17Gently warm the gingerbread circles, and then place a piece of foie gras on each circle.
18Place the apple purée in a piping bag and pipe it onto the plates. Top with the gingerbread and foie gras. Spoon around the balsamic caviar and pickled apples and grapes.
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