Seared Foie Gras with Maple Roasted Pears and Brioche Croutons
November December 2013
From chef Xavier Lacaze, Briggs Kitchen & Bar
3 oz. whole almonds, skin on
4 fresh, ripe pears
8 oz. butter, divided equally
4 T. sugar
1/3 c. maple syrup
1/3 c. white wine
1 c. reduced brown stock (veal or beef cooked to a thick sauce)
8 thick slices of brioche (from a bakery such as Manuel Latruwe), or other soft bread
1 lb. foie gras, approx. (or one whole lobe), cut into 8 slices
salt and black pepper
Toast the almonds for 10 minutes in a 325°F. oven, then crush them roughly with a knife and set them aside.
Halve the pears, de-seed them, and cut each half into 4 wedges. In a large frying pan, melt half of the butter. Add the pears and the sugar. Cook on high heat, stirring often without breaking the pieces of fruit. Once the pears start getting a bit of colour, add the maple syrup. Boil for a minute until thickened, then “deglaze” with the white wine. Cook until thickened again, then add the reduced brown stock. Boil for a minute, then turn the heat off. Set aside.
Melt the other half of the butter and spread it on the brioche slices, then trim the edges of each piece. Set your oven to broil and toast the brioche until golden brown – keep an eye on it because it colours quickly! Remove and set aside.
Heat 2 large frying pans on high heat. Season the foie gras slices generously with salt and pepper. When the pans are “smoking” hot, place the slices carefully in the pans, 4 in each pan. Cook for approx. 30 seconds, then carefully flip on the other side. Cook for 30 more seconds and turn the heat off. Transfer the foie gras onto a paper towel.
To serve, place the brioche on a serving platter or on 8 plates. Place the pears on top and finish with the foie gras. Drizzle with the sauce left from the pears. Sprinkle the toasted almonds on top of each dish and serve immediately. Serves 8 as an appetizer.
(Note: This recipe works very well for most fruits with a firm flesh, like plums, apples and peaches.)