To me, the tradition of foie gras is long and very controversial. When thinking about the whole process involved in the making of foie gras, I start having a few doubts about whether to be in favour of this delicacy. Hence for years, I have lived an inner conflict Eat or Not to Eat Foie Gras, that is the question. Luckily I resolved this a few years ago, when after having been a vegetarian for about 8 years, I decided to resume the consumption of meat. The story is long in terms of the reasons why, but the bottom line for the purpose of this story is simple: I am now able to share my experimenting with foie gras, which occurred last year over Christmas. ( I cannot yet tell about the coming year, but I have a strong suspicion that it will be part of the numerous menus we are going to have. It is a classic and this year, I am spending Christmas in France, so it is 99% chance to be expected)
The recipe that follows serves about 8 people, as an appetizer, or amuse-bouche.
Two key things were required: foie gras, of course (bought in France while we were travelling to le Luberon in November) and gingerbread.
I decided to opt for a very nice gingerbread recipe that I cooked in my breadmachine. Why the breadmachine? Just because I was sure to be able to play with other things while this little treasure was slowly cooking in a perfect environment. Warmth and all it required to get a good rise and bake.
4 tblsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup molasses
2 large eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar (light)
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tsp baking soda dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water
Grated zest of an orange
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 ts allspice
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp candied ginger, chopped
So the choice here is to either bake it in the machine (dark crust, program for cake or quick bread) or in the oven after mixing together all ingredients, about 1 hour in the oven 400F.
As for the toppings, you need:
1 pinch of paprika
Fleur de sel
Pepper freshly ground
1-Start by peeling the pears and cut them in 4 pieces, removing the inner part.
2-Slice them again in thin slices.
3-Slice the foie gras using a good knife.
Tip: to cut foie gras. Place the blade of your knife in warm water before slicing the foie gras
4-Slice the gingerbread in the shape of triangles and place them under the broil (or a toaster works too).
5-Take a non-stick frying pan and heat the butter.
6-Cook the pear slices on medium heat ( a few mns, until they are golden in colour).
7-Add salt and paprika.
8-On each slice of gingerbread, place a few slices of pear and a piece of foie gras.
9-Sprinkle fleur de sel on top.
Serve! A great wine to go with it: a Gewurztraminer.