Nose to tail eating can sometimes involve cooking and eating some things that can sometimes seem unappetizing - even to those of us who are offal inclined. And then there's fois gras.
Fois is the liver of a duck that has been force fed. What the birds are fed is up to the producer, sometimes it's a combination of different grain, sometimes it's brandy soaked bread. There is a lot of controversy surrounding how fois gras is made, some peope feel the ducks are being tortured by going through the gravage (forcefeeding) process - I've seen these ducks happily following the farmers to get their suppers.
Opinions on feeding ducks aside, fois gras is delicious, luscious and a treat. I purchased my tiny piece at one of my local gourmet shops, it's Grade B Fois Gras, which means that there are some veins present but the flavour and texture are still fois. Just a little more high maintenance. They are fairly easily removed with a sharp knife. For those on a budget I highly suggest it.
A lovely treat.
Before I left my last job I bought a jar of cider jelly, which is very simply a gallon of cider reduced to a small jar of jelly - the flavour is sweet and tart and appley. I've also got a little bit of homemade blueberry lime jam. Very simply I'm going to toast some baguette, sear my fois gras in a very hot pan and serve them with my two preserves.
Don't salt the liver until it's seared, then give it a generous sprinkle. The one thing to remember is to not over cook your precious liver, you want it quivering on the inside and crisp on the outside.
Our lovely lump of liver.
The liver is flavourful, fatty and salty, the cider jelly is sweet and tart and the toast is crisp (the jam is alright - not bad for a first batch). A nice glass of wine and Ross and I are feeling very fat and happy.
Tonight I got home from work and felt a little fragile. My husband Ross, being the saint that he is, let me sit at my computer watching trashy TV and took care of dinner. Complete with my favorite - roasted bone marrow.
Dinner tonight consisted of a bottle of wine, some nice cheese, a niçoise salad and a few knobs of roasted bone marrow with scallions and buckwheat walnut toast.
While Ross was compiling all his salad ingredients he preheated the oven to 425 degrees and put in the bone marrow (on a foil covered tray) - twenty minutes later the marrow was perfectly jiggly. Ross sprinkled each bone with some coarse gray sea salt and a generous pile of sliced scallions.
The coarse gray salt cuts the rich beefiness of the bones perfectly. And the scallions managed to add a little bit of summer to what I normally think of as a rich (fall or wintery) dish.
Thanks for a fantastic dinner Ross, I'm a very lucky lady.