Monday, May 5, 2008

Mission: Salted Foie (Out of Scope)

So, foie gras.

You buy a lobe of it at the butcher and you think to yourself... wow! This is awesome! Maybe expensive, but awesome! I'll just take it home and slice off a piece and stick it on some toast. Since it's so expensive, it must be ready to eat, right?

Well, you could eat it straight, sure. And we've been known to lop off a bit of it for searing and consumption. But it's probably better to salt it, a process that involves deveining the lobes and then reassembling them back into one piece. We did that in preparation for our tarts this week, and thought it'd be fun to walk through it here. So, let's go!

The first thing to do was to stick the lobe into some warm water and let it soak for a while to get it all loosey-goosey:

Foie in warm water

We let it sit for about an hour. Then we put it on a cutting board and started to devein it by hand, like so:


But that really didn't seem to be working. For one thing, as you can see, the foie kind of disintegrated while we were getting the veins out. And we really weren't confident that the result would be the kind of thing that we could re-form later - it was just kinda clumpy, and we're used to seeing this product as a uniform consistency. So to solve this problem we trotted out our new kitchen gadget, the tamis, like so:

Foie through the tamis

And it came on through the device swimmingly:

Foie through the tamis - the end

And then we ended up with a a pile of it and we threw some salt on the bad boy:

Salted Foie prior to rolling

And then we shaped it into a log and rolled it up tightly with cheesecloth, placing it in the fridge.

When we took it out to use it for the Foie Gras Tart, it looked like this:

Salted Foie Gras

All and all, a striking success. The consistency was great, and really? Doing it through a tamis made the process much much easier overall. So push it real good through the tamis when you try doing it at home, and you'll get great results.

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