Foodbuzz 24×24: Ode to Foie

By Tsz on January 29, 2012

July 2012. That is when foie gras will be banned from the state of California.

Because of this, I wanted to throw a farewell dinner to foie gras—an ode to Foie if you will—to honor the controversial and delicious ingredient of dreams. Thanks to Foodbuzz’s 24×24, I was able to indulge my desires with a small group of friends.

First stop was to find the elusive ingredient. While foie gras is abundant in restaurants, it’s rather non-existent in normal retailers. My go-to place for fine ingredients, Whole Foods, have already banned foie from all of their stores as it goes against their beliefs.

This sparked a need for me to explore more on the subject. Is foie production inhumane or is it politically marginalized? I learned more about foie as well as what goes on in farms. While I don’t have a full answer as I’m no expert on the subject, my conclusion and goal is to find foie gras that is responsibly raised and cared for as well as to consume the entire animal.

With these points in mind, I chose to purchase my foie gras and duck from D’Artagnan. They’re the exclusive distributor of Hudson Valley, a artisan foie gras farm in New York, where ducks there are raised cage free and individually cared for. The result is superior foie as well as excellent duck and the proof is in the taste.

Where most meats in the supermarket is bland (not to mention hazardous to your health) because the livestocks are on a steady diet of steroids and antibiotics, these ducks on the other hand were flavorful and unbelievably good.

So, armed with my foie gras mousse, ducks and a high-tech meat slicer, my friends and I embarked on a foie journey:

1. Foie Gras Two Ways : Foie Gras Macaron and Foie Gras Chicharrón (Recipe here)
I channeled my inner Sandra Lee with this creation, which showcases the delectable foie gras mousse in preparations, one savory (chicharrón) and one sweet (macaron).

2. Duck Proscuitto with Fennel and Apple (Recipe here)
I used to think traditional proscuitto was amazing until I had duck proscuitto, which is simply out of this world! Sweeter and somehow more succulent (if that is even possible), it doesn’t need much to transform it into a spectacular dish. All we did were toss some fennel, Granny Smiths and some some mixed greens with a light lemon vinaigrette before topping it with a few choice slices of the duck proscuitto.

3. Ginger Orange Magret Duck with Kasha (Recipe here)
A “by-product” of foie gras production is the wonderful accompany duck meat. With each breast weighing in an impressive pound, we prepared it like steak, pan searing it before finishing in the oven and topped with a little spicy ginger orange sauce. To soak up all the flavors, we made Kasha, a nutty buckwheat pilaf that is a staple in Eastern European countries.

4. Sweet Corn Panna Cotta with Mango Sauce (Recipe here)
Taking a breather from duck and foie gras goodness, we ended the night on a sweet note by having a panna cotta infused with sweet corn, one of the components of the (domesticated) ducks’ diet. The panna cotta is paired with a mango sauce, almond crisps and a little freeze-dried corn. Good way to smuggled in some extra veggies in your meal!

To prevent this entry from being an epic tome in length, I’ll be posting each recipe in their own separate page throughout the week. Thanks for reading and happy eating!

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