Post with 12 notes
I had one of the most memorable dining experiences of my life at The Apron in Richmond, with Executive Chef Hamid Salimian. During that memorable evening the most amazing foie gras was served. A puffed foie gras that sumptously melted away with savory delight in every single bite.
Hamid Salimian since moved on to new opportunities as Executive Chef with Diva at the Met in Vancouver and his culinary vision continues to impress. When he left The Apron I feared that I might never taste or share that culinary experience again… But I was overjoyed when I stumbled accross his divine recipie for Puffed Foie Gras online! Thank you Hamid! I look forward to tasting more of your creations at Diva in the very near future.
His Post from the Vancouver Sun follows:
The first time I had foie gras it was at cooking school. It came out of red cylinder, and I couldn’t wait to try it after all the great things that I had heard from my teachers. Well, it was a disappointment. I did not like the texture of this thing that tasted like iron, coming out of a red can. I really did not understand what the big deal about foie gras was. Why would anyone pay money for this?
Six months later at The Sutton Place Hotel, I watched Chef Kai Lermen receiving foie gras from a sales person. They were speaking French and it looked like Chef was giving the sales person a hard time as he went through 8 or 10 pieces of whole foie gras that had been flown in from France. The salesman’s face was red and Chef did not look happy either. Chef picked five lobes of foie gras out of the batch, yelled my name across the kitchen, and I came over to put them away.
The winemaker’s dinner was at the end of that week. Chef baked a brioche loaf with a whole foie gras in the centre of the bread; to this date I don’t know how he did it. All I know is that he was so excited. He called me over as he was slicing the terrine of foie gras and give me a slice and said, “This is how foie gras should taste.”
As I was eating that end-slice of terrine, all I could think was, “Oh my god. This is so amazing!” My taste buds were dancing in my mouth. What can I say? I was hooked on foie gras after that day.
Among the things I have learned about foie gras along the way:
- If you want to roast or sear foie gras, make sure that the lobe is “grade one” and that the kill date is not more than a few days prior.
- Always make sure that the vacuum seal on the package is sealed with no air pockets in it. Oxygen is pretty much the enemy of foie gras.
- Make sure the liver is not bruised, nor has any visible blood vessels. Blood vessels mean the liver is going to taste like iron really soon.
- Make sure the foie gras is creamy pink in colour; any other color and you will get a bitter flavour and not the sweet/savoury nutty taste with a little game to finish.
Today I would like to share with you one of my favorite ways to eat this ingredient, a dish that we serve at Diva at the Met called Puffed Foie Gras. This is not the easiest recipe, but I love that it gives the rich foie gras a beautifully light texture which further enhances the flavour, along with a really unique presentation. At Diva we use an industrial vacuum machine to add even more air to the foie gras foam, but this recipe will give you similar results, replicating the modernist techniques that we use in our kitchen using a humble Food Saver machine and a whipped cream gun.
We finish the foie gras with candied walnuts and fig molasses, and serve with freshly baked brioche. Enjoy!
PUFFED FOIE GRAS
1 lobe of foie gras
½ tbsp of sugar
2 tbsp of kosher salt
Peel of one lemon
5 sprigs of thyme
Cheese cloth to wrap the foie gras
Food Saver machine
Whipped cream gun (such as the one made by ISI)
1. Remove the foie gras from the fridge and bring up to room temperature (about 45 minutes or until it softens).
2. Cut the liver into three slices and carefully take out the large blood vessels
3. Season with salt and sugar, and then wrap the liver in cheese cloth.
4. Place the lemon peel and thyme leaf on one side of wrapped liver and then vacuum seal the liver using the Food Saver.
5. Place the liver in the fridge for 24 hours.
6. Open the sealed packet, and take out the cheese cloth and aromatics. Then vacuum seal the liver again.
7. Place the sealed bag in a stock pot of water above 60°C for 10 minutes.
8. Take the bag out of the water, open it carefully so as to not spill the melted fat. Put all of the contents through fine strainer, discarding the solids left behind (this should just be small blood vessels and skin).
9. Place the fat in a blender and blend for 1 minute.
10. From the blender, place the emulsified fat in a whipped cream gun and charge with two #2 cream gun bulbs.
11. Squirt the resulting foam from the whipped cream gun into a mason jar. When full, seal the jar and place in an ice bath until set, approximately 30 minutes.
12. Place the foie gras in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it
Hamid Salimian is Executive Chef at Diva at the Met.