Yield: 4 appetizer servings
Although Michael Mina is known for his inventive fish and seafood preparations, his San Francisco restaurant actually serves more foie gras than almost any other establishment in the country. Michael's background as a pastry chef influenced the creation of this particular dish, a play on a traditional apple charlotte. The foie gras is served chilled alongside a charlotte of warm apples, creating an interesting composition of contrasting temperatures.
4 ounces foie gras (in one piece),
cleaned for low-heat cooking
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon saltpeter
Pinch white pepper
1 large apple (see Chef's Notes)
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup rendered foie gras fat, melted and strained
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 pint blackberries
6 slices brioche, crusts removed and cut
into 1/2 inch strips of equal length,
plus four 1-3/4 inch rounds
5 Granny Smith apples,
peeled, cored, and diced
1/2 pound butter, softened
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon clove
Rendered foie gras fat to taste
1 Granny Smith apple, cut into fine julienne
1/2 pint fresh blackberries
1 bunch upland cress (see Chef's Notes)
4 ring molds, 2-1/2 inches in diameter
Kent Rassmussen Late-Harvest
Sauvignon Blanc 1993 (Napa), or another late-harvest wine from California.
To increase the surface area of the foie gras, gently flatten it by applying pressure with your hand. Combine the salt, saltpeter, pepper, sugar, and nutmeg, and coat the foie gras with this mixture to cure. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 12 hours.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. With an even slice, cut off the top of the apple, about 1/4 inch from the crown, and carefully remove the core without breaking through the bottom. Using a melon baller, hollow out a deep, wide cavity inside the apple. Fill the apple with the cured foie gras, packing firmly, and replace the apple top. Place the apple in a baking pan filled with 1/4 inch of water, cover with foil, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until a knife pierced into the center comes out warm. Carefully remove the apple from the water, wrap in plastic, and chill for several hours.
In a saucepan set over a low flame, combine the sugar and foie gras fat, stirring to form a thick mixture. Continue heating and stirring until most of the sugar is absorbed. Whisk in the balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil, watching closely because this mixture has a tendency to boil over. Remove from the heat. Mash the blackberries into the sauce by pressing them with the back of a spoon against the side of the pot. Strain and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Lay the strips and rounds of brioche on a sheet pan and toast until lightly colored. In a baking dish, combine the apples, butter, cinnamon, sugar, and clove, and cook until tender, 30 to 40 minutes. purée the apple mixture in a food processor, adding foie gras fat to taste.
Service and Garnish
Line the insides of the ring molds with the strips of toasted brioche arranged vertically as shown in the photograph. Place a disk of brioche on the bottom of each. Spoon the apple purée into the charlotte molds, using the purée to hold the strips of brioche together, and gently warm in the oven. Unmold the charlottes on each of four plates. Top with some julienned apple. Gently heat the blackberry sauce and add the fresh blackberries. Spoon the sauce around the charlotte. Slice the apple terrine into quarters and place one slice on each plate. Garnish with upland cress or other baby greens.
Use a tart, firm apple such as Golden Delicious, Gala, Braeburn, or similar variety. Upland cress is a wild, peppery relative of watercress that grows in California. If unavailable, substitute any similar cress.
Foie Gras. ..A Passion
By Michael A. Ginor
with Mitchell A. Davis
Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Cloth: $49.95, September 1999
Recipe Reprinted by permission.
This page created December 1999
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