Seared Foie Gras with Mango and Mango Vinaigrette
If you have never cooked foie gras at home, don’t be intimidated. Just follow these instructions, and I promise you success. Good accompaniments to foie gras tend to have sweet and slightly tart components to counterbalance the richness of the liver. Fruit always seem to go well, but don’t limit yourself to the obvious apples and pears. I once put Foie Gras with Caramelized Macomber Turnips and Sweet and Sour Beet Vinaigrette on the menu at Radius, and the combination worked beautifully.
Truc: Let foie gras come to room temperature before sautéing it, and do not preheat the pan. When foie gras comes straight from the fridge it is almost like chilled butter. Now, if you tried to sauté a stick of butter, the exterior would melt away and burn before the center could heat through, and foie gras cooks similarly. By starting with everything at room temperature, the interior becomes perfectly cooked just as the exterior develops a golden brown crust.
To avoid overcrowding, cook the foie gras slices in two sauté pans.
Mango Vinaigrette will keep for up to a week in your fridge.
Another Note: Papaya or guava can be substituted for the mango.
Togarashi: I love the flavor of a condiment called togarashi. I first discovered it in a Japanese restaurant, where it added a spicy, interesting note to a soup called yosenabe. Togarashi is made from Thai chiles, orange zest, white and black sesame seeds, fennel seeds, and hemp (yes, hemp, and no, nobody ever got stoned from using togarashi on their food). You can find it in Asian markets, where it often goes by the name schichimi togarashi.
Total Timeunder 30 minutes
OccasionCooking for a date, Formal Dinner Party
Equipmentblender, mortar and pestle
Taste and Texturefruity, nutty, rich, savory, spiced, tart
- 12 ounces foie gras, trimmed of any veins or discolored spots
- 1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and cut into small dice
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 1 pinch fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 pinch sugar
- ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) rice wine vinegar
- ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon finely sliced chives
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons toasted hazelnuts, crushed
- 4 teaspoons Mango Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
- 1 cup ripe mango, cut into medium pieces
- 2 ounces (¼ cup) rice wine vinegar
- 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) pure olive oil
- 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 pinch togarashi (see Notes; cayenne pepper can be substituted)
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch sugar
- 2 to 3 ounces (4 to 6 tablespoons) water, if needed
- Makes 1 cup
Place all of the ingredients except the water in a blender and puree on high speed until smooth. If the puree seems too thick, thin it with a few drops of water and puree to incorporate. Keep adding water (a few drops at a time) until the puree has a sauce like consistency.
Adjust the seasoning if needed. It should be both sweet and slightly tart.Reserve and serve at room temperature.
The Foie Gras:
Remove the foie gras from the refrigerator and cut into four 1½-inch-thick slices (they should weigh about 3 ounces each). Set aside at room temperature for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the diced mango, shallot, thyme, sugar, rice wine vinegar, olive oil, chives, and salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl. Toss gently and reserve.
Place hazelnuts in a small sauté pan and toast over high heat until lightly browned and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Crush the hazelnuts using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. (Or place them on a cutting board, cover them with the bottom of a saucepan, and crush them by pressing down firmly.)
Season the foie gras with salt and pepper. Place two pieces of foie gras in each of two unheated sauté pans. Set the sauté pans on the stovetop over high heat and cook the foie gras until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
Pour off any excess fat given off by the foie gras, gently flip each piece, and reduce heat to medium. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, remove from heat, and let foie gras pieces remain in pans for another minute. Transfer the foie gras to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb some of the excess fat.
Place 1 spoonful of the mango salad in the center of four dinner plates. Arrange one piece foie gras on the top of each salad. Spoon Mango Vinaigrette in a circle around the salad and drizzle a bit over the foie gras. Garnish with crushed toasted hazelnuts, and serve.
2005 Michael Schlow