Monday, February 20, 2006

Pâté de foie gras

Soul food for me is liver pâté on good bread served with either cornichons or a glass of vin noix, which I find tastes like a fine port.

It’s cold here, the coldest it’s been all year. So yesterday I took some livers out of the frozen cache and made pâté. I soaked them in some fresh cold water to thaw, then drained and patted them dry with a towel.

To Make Pâté:
Crush and mince one fat clove of garlic and sauté in butter or graisse along with one small onion or two shallots minced until just golden. Put one sprig of thyme and one bay leaf in the pan and bruise the bay leaf in the hot oil to release the flavor. Add one cup of water and bring to a simmer. Place about one pound of livers gently into the simmering liquid and cook just until livers lose their pinkness.

Remove sprig of thyme and bay leaf. Using your écumoire or skimmer, strain all of the solids into a bowl, reserving the liquid in the pan. Use your masher to combine all solids into a paste in the bowl. While the paste is still warm, mash in ½ cup of butter. Season mousse with pepper and salt and a spoonful of brandy to your taste. Pour into a small bowl or terrine and tap on the table to remove air bubbles. At this point is it necessary to cover the top of the mousse with a layer of melted butter or calve’s foot jelly* to keep it from darkening. Put in the cold room to set and develop flavor.

After serving, if you still have leftovers, seal again with melted butter to maintain color of mousse.

calve’s foot jelly* Add a cube of jelly to the pan liquid and bring to a boil, stirring to melt the jelly. Strain and pour over mousse carefully to keep the surface intact.

Caroline has a wonderful article on foie gras that explains all the ins and outs of this marvelous treat.

Purchase readymade foie gras mousse from Enjoy Foie Gras.

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