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Recipe: Medallions of Ahi Tuna and Seared Foie Gras with Pinot Noir Sauce

I’ve been wanting to try this recipe for Medallions of Ahi Tuna and Seared Foie Gras with Pinot Noir Sauce for quite some time now, and New Year’s Eve was the perfect occasion!  It worked out well, because I was able to do the sauce and the preparation for the potatoes and mushrooms ahead of time, and only  needed  about 30 minutes to complete and serve the dish.

The stacked presentation was spectacular and most importantly, the flavors and combination of ingredients were absolutely wonderful.

I followed the recipe almost exactly, and would not change a thing.  The recipe is from “the foie gras bible” titled “Foie Gras, A Passion” by Michael A. Ginor, owner of Hudson Valley Foie Gras.  The book contains almost 100 pages of information about foie gras–history, production methods, and facts, plus 80 recipes, many of which are created by the world’s most renowned chefs including Jacques Pepin, Charlie Trotter, Emeril Lagasse, Alain Ducasse, Thomas Keller and Jean-Louis Palladin.

If you are a lover of foie gras, and you enjoy cooking, you really must have “Foie Gras, A Passion”.


Pinot Noir Sauce

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 pound shallots, sliced

4 portobello mushrooms, stems only, chopped (reserve caps for grilling)

3 white peppercorns

3 coriander seeds

1 bay leaf

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 1/2 cups Pinot Nior

2 cups veal stock

Crispy Potato Cakes

2 large russet potatoes

10 chives, chopped

2 egg whites

2 teaspoons coarse salt

2 tablespoons potato starch

peanut oil for frying

Grilled Mushrooms

1 clove garlic, minced

1 shallot, minced

2 teaspoons fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, marjoram and parsley work well)

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

4 portobello mushroom caps (reserved from above)

Coarse salt

Black pepper, freshly ground

Tuna, Foie Gras, and Spinach

1 1/2 pounds sushi-grade ahi tuna, cut into 6 steaks, about 4 oz each

Vegetable oil for grilling

1  foie gras, 1 1/2 pound, cut into 6 cubes, about 4 ounces each

Coarse salt

Black pepper, freshly ground

1/2 pound spinach, cleaned

1 tablespoon olive oil

Pinot Noir Sauce

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the shallots and saute until translucent, about 10 minutes.  Add the mushroom stems and cook until they have released all their liquid, 7 to 10 minutes.  Add the peppercorns, coriander seeds, bay leaf, and sugar, and continue cooking until caramelized, an additional 3 minutes.  Add the red wine vinegar and reduce until the mixture is dry, about 5 mintues.  Add the Pinot Noir and reduce by three-fourths, about 30 minutes.  Add the veal stock and simmer until the mixture takes on the consistency of a light sauce, about 1 hour.  Strain though a chinois and reserve.

Crispy Potato Cakes

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake the potatoes for 30 minutes or until they are barely tender.  Let cool slightly, then peel and grate.  Add the chives, egg whites, salt, and potato starch.  Mold the potatoes into six cakes using a 2-inch-square mold; the cakes should be roughly 3/4 inch thick.  Heat the peanut oil in a large saute pan and fry the potato cakes until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side.  Set aside.

Grilled Mushrooms

Combine the garlic, shallot, herbs, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil.  Marinate the mushroom caps in this mixture for at least 2 hours.  Remove the mushrooms from the marinade.  Season with salt and pepper, and grill until tender, about 3 or 4 minutes per side.  Dice the grilled mushrooms into 1/2-inch cubes.

Tuna, Foie Gras, and Spinach

Place the potato cakes in a medium-hot oven to heat through.  Brush the tuna with oil.  Season the tuna and the foie gras with salt and pepper.  On a very hot grill, sear the tuna on both sides.  In a hot saute pan, sear the cubed foie gras on all sides until brown.  In another pan, saute the spinach in the olive oil and let drain on a paper towel.  In another saute pan, heat the Pinot Noir sauce and the diced portobello mushrooms.  Place a potato cake in the center of each of six dinner plates with a small pile of sauteed spinach on top of the cake.  On top of the spinach, place one tuna steak and one cubed foie gras steak.  Spoon the Pinot Noir sauce with the chopped mushrooms around the plate.

Serve with a full bodied red wine.

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