Friday, 6 June 2014

Seven Days of Foie Gras: 5) Hot Foie Gras, Lentilles Du Pays, Sherry Vinegar Sauce from Marco Pierre White

Continuing this week's series highlighting seven great foie gras recipes and the cookbooks behind them. Previous entries:
  1. Shaved Foie Gras, Lychee & Pine Nut Brittle from the Momofuku Cookbook
  2. Foie Gras Ganache from Aquavit and the New Scandinavian Cuisine
  3. Steamed Foie Gras with Broad Beans and Peas from Essential Cuisine
  4. Whole Roasted Moulard Foie Gras with Apples and Black Truffles from the French Laundry Cookbook

Recipe 5: Hot Foie Gras, Lentilles du Pays, Sherry Vinegar Sauce

The dish: An escalope of foie gras (almost certainly goose, given the vintage of the book) is fried until just brown and crunchy and served on a bed of braised lentils and garnished with ceps. The dish is finished with a demi-glace spiked with sherry vinegar and a touch of cream.

PS At the risk of being a pedant I have to say the fungi in the picture look a damn sight more like chantarelles than ceps to me! And I'd wager good money those are actually lentilles du puy, not lentilles du pays... :-p

Why it’s special: Mixing humble and haute ingredients is an old kitchen trope. Robuchon did it with his cauliflower cream and caviar; Thomas Keller with his oysters and tapioca pearls. This is Marco Pierre White’s version – allegedly inspired by pork pies with mushy peas/vinegar (squint and you might see a slight resemblance). Although the recipe and techniques are slightly dated now (why use demi-glace when you have a cryo-filtration rig?) the combination – rich buttery foie gras and earthy piquant lentils is a good one; Robuchon’s Cuisine Actuelle also has a version (reproduced at the end of this post) where he steams the foie gras and presents it on a soup-like lentil cream.

The chef and the book: Marco, Marco. Another chef who needs no introduction. Three Michelin stars at the age of 33, and it’s been downhill ever since. Last seen getting slammed by hygiene inspectors in Birmingham – how far you have fallen! But in his time he gave us some great food and one truly iconic cookbook. White Heat was a genuine revolution. Just as Jaws spawned the summer blockbuster, every soft-focus cheffy book owes its origins to Marco and his photographer Bob Carlos Clark. Up until White Heat the food was the star, after White Heat the chef was the star.

Coming up tomorrow: Shock and Awe from Chicago's controversial culinary godfather...

Joel Robuchon's alternative foie-gras-meets-lentil recipe

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