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Recipe: Seared Foie Gras with Apricot-Ginger Compote and Apricot Sorbet

This is a great foie gras recipe to prepare when apricots are in season, as they are now.  Foie gras and fruit is a classic pairing, but this combination is truly exquisite.  The recipe is from Michael Ginor’s cookbook, Foie Gras, a Passion–the cookbook I always consult when I need a fresh idea for preparing foie gras. Hudson Valley’s flash frozen foie gras slices work really well for this recipe, or certainly you may use a whole fresh lobe of foie gras and slice it.  This recipe is not difficult to prepare, however, there are a few steps, and one does need to plan ahead.

Serve this foie gras preparation with a quality Sauternes or another sweet wine from Sauternes or Barsac, France.  The chef who created this recipe recommends Chateau Coutet, which is one of my favorite Sauternes.  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have.

Ingredients:

1 ounce piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into julienne

2 pounds ripe apricots

1/3 cup sugar

1 pound ripe apricots

1 cup sugar, plus extra for apricot cups

1 cup water

juice of 1 lemon

Apricot peels (reserved)

2 tablespoons sugar

6 brioche rounds, each 3 by 1/4 inches

1 cup roast chicken jus or rich, dark chicken glace

1 pound foie gras cut into 6 slices, each about 2 1/2 ounces or flash frozen slices of foie gras

Compote

Blanch the julienned ginger in boiling water for 1 minute, remove, and shock immediately in ice water.  repeat the blanching and shocking process two more times.  Set aside the ginger.  Cut the apricots into quarters, and carefully peel off the skin.  Reserve the peels for the garnish and dice the quartered apricots.  In a saucepan, combine the blanched ginger, diced apricots, and sugar.  Cook over low heat for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until the compote reaches a jamlike consistency.  If the mixture becomes too dry, add a tablespoon or two of water and continue cooking.  Reserve and keep warm.

Sorbet

Select the three nicest apricots and set aside to use as sorbet cups.  In a saucepan, combine 1 cup of the sugar and water, bring to a boil, and cool immediately.  Puree the apricots with the lemon juice and strain into a deep bowl.  Slowly add the cool syrup, checking the sugar density against the recommendations of the ice-cream machine manufacturer, until the desired density is reached.  Freeze in the ice-cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Keep frozen until service.

To prepare the sorbet cups, preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  Cut the reserved apricots in half and carefully peel the halves.  Cut the bottom of each half to flatten, so the cups will easily stand on a plate.  Sprinkle the cups with sugar and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake until the cups are soft and slightly shrunken, about 20 minutes.

Garnish

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  Place the reserved apricot peels on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with the sugar and cook for 10 minutes, until they are dried.  Set aside for service.  Toast the brioche circles.  Reserve the chicken jus until service.

Foie Gras

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a very hot pan, sear the foie gras for about 30 seconds on each side.  Finish the foie gras in the oven until just warmed through.

Service

Gently heat the chicken jus.  Spread the toasted brioche circles with the apricot compote.  Place a brioche circle on each of six serving plates, along with one apricot cup.  Top each brioche circle with a slice of foie gras and fill each apricot cup with a scoop of sorbet.  Pour 2 – 3 tablespoons of the chicken jus over each slice of foie gras and garnish the plates with the dried apricot skins.

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