Quick Recipes and Easy

Foie Gras: The Height of Luxury

Foie Gras is the height of luxury. Made from 100 per cent whole goose or duck liver and with a small salt, pepper and a “noble” alcohol (such as cognac, armagnac port etc.) to season; it is irresistible. Nothing can match its sheer quality, texture and taste. It works so well as a wonderful gift or to mark a special occasion or even just to exercise some pure indulgence!

So what is Foie Gras? Foie Gras is the fattened liver of a goose or a duck. When it comes from a duck it is called Foie Gras de Canard (duck Foie Gras) and from a goose it is called Foie Gras d’Oie (goose Foie Gras). Currently duck is more well loved and widespread than goose due to the fattening process for geese being more hard and expensive.
Foie Gras Entier is made from a lobe or a piece of a lobe with only salt, pepper and a noble alcohol such as brandies or ports allowed to be added. Entier is the ultimate of the preserved Foie Gras in that it has the phenomenal taste that we all associate with it but it has the added attraction of a texture that is akin to butter but somehow even smoother! Bloc de Foie Gras is made from a Foie Gras or pieces of Foie Gras that are puréed so the exquisite taste is present but there is the loss of that incredible “porcelain” texture. Medallions, mousse and galantines of Foie Gras contain at least fifty percent Foie Gras. Foie Gras Truffé is Foie Gras that contains at least three percent of truffles.

There is an art to serving Foie Gras. Due to its complex textures and tastes I recommend that you keep it as simple as possible. Chill the Foie Gras for four hours before the day that you intend to use it. Remove it from the fridge around 10 to 20 minutes before serving so it can reach room temperature thus allowing all its delicate aromas and subtle flavours to develop. Warm a sharp knife under hot water and cut the Foie Gras into 1cm (1/4 inch) slices. The hot water will prevent the Foie Gras from sticking to the knife thereby giving each slice a smooth end. Serve each person with two slices arranged on a plate with either a part of a fig confit or with a Sauternes Jelly on the side (both condiments will enhance the flavours of the Foie Gras even further). Using white bread toasted and cut into triangles and a simple garnish of watercress or rocket drizzled with a small amount of walnut oil really gives the dish a wonderful appearance.
To end the dish off I would recommend a sweet white wine such as a Sauternes, a Barzac or a Monbazillac ( Monbazillac is also known as the poor man’s Sauternes and has been specially made to accompany Foie Gras and thus brings out the full luxury of this wonderful dish.)

So; is Foie Gras excellent for you? Several years ago the New York Times newspaper reported on the result of a ten year study on the Gascon diet, which has one of the highest concentrations of saturated stout in the industrialized world. But the Gascons have one of the lowest rates of heart disease in France (around 25% of the rate of the United States of America). The scientists showed that goose and duck stout is more akin to olive oil than to butter and therefore has a lower cholesterol level than you would expect.

Dominic Valentine is the new Business Manager for Dordogne Direct. Please visit our website at dddirect.co.uk dddirect.co.uk for further information and contact details. Thank you

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