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Foie Gras: The Topic


glenn
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Can someone answer these...

1.  How long does foie gras last (when purchased by the case)?

2.  Approx. how many portions do you get per pound?

Thanks.

1. In what form, raw, canned, processed? How big is a case?

2. How generous are you? Is it for canapes/nibbles, starters/appetizers, main course/entree?

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We buy it raw and we serve it as an appetizer. A case varies in weight. I've been told by a friend/chef that a serving is probably 4-6 ounces. However, he has no direct experience with foie gras. Just so ya know, I'm an accountant and I've just noticed that our food cost on this item is over 50% and am trying to get to the bottom of it. Thanks.

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A generous portion of foie gras is two ounces. Remember that this is unbelievably rich, and serving much more than that will finish off the diner's appetite.

It seems that chefs always complain that it is hard to make money with this ingredient. While it may exceed one's expected food costs, I think it is important to have on a menu because it brings people into the restaurant. Try to think of it this way: food costs may be 50%, but it is probably the most expensive appetizer on your menu. Dollar per dollar, you are still making a sizable dollar amount.

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You buy it by the CASE? Wow! How many covers do you do a night? :blink: Wherever I've worked, we would only buy 1 or 2 pieces at a time (direct delivery from D'Artagnan).

Actually, 50% food cost is probably not that far off, if at all. The best way I can think of to get it down is to make sure that NOTHING gets wasted -- scraps should go into terrines, or be blended with butter, for example -- but only the real garbage (veins) should ever get tossed.

And just so you know, Glenn, I'm a line cook with an MBA :wink::biggrin:

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My mistake, we don't buy it by the case. The invoice says "case" but we actually buy it by the piece, 3 to 5 at a time. The points are well taken about the 50%+ cost. [i didn't know the kitchen got so competitive that you need a MBA these days :))]

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  • 3 months later...

Somewhere else - chez moi. I just made this dish last week. Here's the recipe. It's written in my shorthand so if you need any clarification please feel free to ask. Why the interest in Chasellas grapes? Not that common here in France. And not quite grape season at the moment.

CAILLES RÔTIES AUX RAISINS, PAILLASSON DE LÉGUMES

ROASTED QUAIL WITH GRAPES, SHREDDED VEGETABLE PANCAKES

Serves 4

Principal ingredients

4 good-sized quails, plucked & cleaned keeping the neck and wings separately

Forcemeat (stuffing)

Quail livers

30 g fattened goose foie gras, diced

½ onion

grapes (fresh grapes in season or golden raisins/sultanas)

fresh breadcrumbs

1 tsp Port wine

1 tsp armagnac

1 sprig thyme

butter

salt, pepper

Jus

Poultry wings or poultry carcasses

Chicken stock

Salt, freshly ground white pepper

Grapes or golden raisins (sultanas)

Vegetable pancakes

1 kg potatoes

150 g carrots

110 g turnips

oil or clarified butter

Jus. Chop wings, heat pan/oil hot, brown very well.

French quail legs, wings. Loosen skin from neck over breast, remove wishbone, expose shoulders, loosen breast meat from carcass, scissor out carcass, gut/reserve livers. Add all bones to jus pan.

Stuffing. Heat pan/oil/butter hot, fine chop onion, sweat. Small dice foie gras, add. Add quail livers, thyme leaves and mash. Add port and armagnace to deglaze then peeled grapes then breadcrumbs to texture. Taste/season, set aside to cool.

Chinois bones to defat pan as needed. Reheat pan hot, mash grapes in to deglaze pan some, then bones back and water just to cover/deglaze well, reduce low.

Stuff quail, truss. Heat pan/oil/butter hot, colour side, turn to other side, then bake about 5 minutes, then turn to back, bake about 10 minutes to clear thigh juice then rack/foil/rest.

Chinois jus well, reduce as needed, skim, taste/season - add peeled grapes just before service.

Trim/peel carrots, turnips, shred, blanche, refresh, drain well. Peel/shred potatoes – do not rinse – add carrots/turnips, season well, toss, set aside. Heat iron pan/oil/butter very hot, add squeezed dry mix, colour golden, turn, colour.

Plate. Pancake, quail over, juice/grapes around.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm responsible for making foie gras terrine at the restaurant. We cook it in a bain marie, the usual way. For some reason, instead of the 35% shrinkage expected, I've been getting close to 45%. My seasoning ratio is now off because of the shrinkage. What can be done to remedy this? What is causing it? Is the oven too hot? not hot enough? Is it the quality oif the liver that might have changed? (We don't use grade A for terrine) My latest one was actually undercooked and still quite shrunken. What gives??!?

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What is the 'usual way?' :smile:

What is the oven temperature?

How long are you cooking it?

What is the temperature of the water in the bain marie?

What temperature are you cooking the terrine to?

What else is in the dish?

Did it ever turn out correctly? If yes, what has changed?

I wish foie wasn't 80% fat. But then, the melted remains do make a good foie gras butter.

Drink!

I refuse to spend my life worrying about what I eat. There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward. --John Mortimera

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What is the oven temperature? 280

How long are you cooking it? 45

What is the temperature of the water in the bain marie? Just under 212 I suppose

What temperature are you cooking the terrine to? We don't take it.

What else is in the dish? Spices only.

Did it ever turn out correctly? If yes, what has changed? Yes. It just renders more fat and the shrinkage causes it to be a tad overseasoned.

I was offered one potential explanation in that summer and winter livers will not cook the same. I'm just not sure how to adjust the cooking parameters around that...

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Hello Aix.

As to your question on the terrine a couple of suggestions.

1. I don't know what style of terrine you are making but the addition of eggs and butter within a ratio are great stabalizers.

2.The teperature that youare ccoking it at is too high. Try and cook at a lower teperature of around 200. So the melting point does not get reached.

3. Take the foie out at 59-60 degrees celsius. I don't use farenheit. Ususally 20-30 minutes is proper.

4.When using foie gras try to have your supplier get you foie that is flash frozen from freshly slaughtered carcass. The reason is that the longer this organ is left at room temperature or slightly colder temperature the enzymes within the foie eat itself away. Freezing stops this process and is used in all highend restaurants in europe, namely those of The Fat Duck, El Bulli, Pierre Gagnierre, to name a few. This is due to the new foundings from french food chemists and researchers. Herve This is the leading researcher.

5. Also using salt peter helps in maintaining the color as well as preserve the foie.

Hope this helps you!

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Thanks for the input.

I can't imagine that cooking for 20 minutes at 200 would do it.. In fact, just last week I tried cooking for 40 minutes at 275'F (five minutes and 5 degrees less than usual) because my livers were smaller, and I ended up ruining the terrine as it was underdone.

FYI: I use 2 whole livers per terrine, seasoned and pressed whole. How do you cook the terrine without reaching what you call the melting point?

The flash freezing comment is interesting. There is a lot of badly frozen livers out there that taste like soap... Perhaps they were not frozen quickly enough?

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  • 7 months later...

Christmas and New Years are a great time for sumptuous, special fare like Fois Gras. Share one of your favorite preparations of this delectable, cooked at home or prepared by someone else...

I have not taken the plunge and prepared fois gras at home yet, but do enjoy it every time I get the chance while dining out. One memorable preparation was at One Market in San Francisco (Bradley Ogden). It was a shaved fois gras salad with hazelnuts, frisee and cherry port syrup served with fois gras brioche toasts...

Fois gras has been on my mind recently due to the 'fois gras pronunciation thread' ( :raz: ) and also after I ran across this article on Alsation fois gras... gives a little history and some recipes...Alsation Fois Gras

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I have over and under-cooked foie gras in just about every way imaginable.

Frankly, I'm still looking for the recognition I think I deserve. :raz:

For instance, when you sauté foie gras, the recipe always says get the pan hot (but not too hot).

Ermm - how'm I supposed to do that then?

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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cut the foie gras relatively thick

get the pan as blistering hot as you want, brown the b*stards to desired level

this will probably leave the foie gras underdone in the centre if you cut it thick enough. all you have to do is pop it in a medium oven for a few minutes until done.

cheerio

J

More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!
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Do not try this at home! Here's a description of the foie gras we had at Jean George on November 1, 2002:

The first course was the Foie Gras Brulée. If I never eat another thing, I believe I’ve tasted heaven. This dish was sensational: contrasts of textures (soft, creamy foie on a chewy brioche crouton, topped with a crunchy disc of caramelized sugar) and flavors (salty foie, slightly bitter burnt sugar, and spicy, sweet-and-tart fig jam). With it we had a Belingard Monbazillac 2000 – not as syrupy as Sauternes, more muted sweetness, but a lovely match.
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I'm considering doing a foie gras soup over the holidays. Cafe Atlantico here in DC serves it up over a kind of sweet slightly roasted flavored corn, with, I believe, chanterelles. An amazing dish. Corn will be hard to come by, but I was thinking of doing something like it with the mushrooms-- whatever I can find.

I've never prepared anything with foie gras before, so I'll be sure to follow this thread for any tips.

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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I'm considering doing a foie gras soup over the holidays. Cafe Atlantico here in DC serves it up over a kind of sweet slightly roasted flavored corn, with, I believe, chanterelles. An amazing dish. Corn will be hard to come by, but I was thinking of doing something like it with the mushrooms-- whatever I can find.

I've never prepared anything with foie gras before, so I'll be sure to follow this thread for any tips.

Flavors sound good. Another key part of enjoying fois gras (for me) is the texture. How is the fois gras incorporated into the soup?

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Very best I've ever had --- difficult. One of the best, and ALWAYS consistent, Opus in Toronto. Tony, Mario & Tanya know what they're doing. Highly recommended if you're in the area.....

Edited by Jake (log)

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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my absolute favourite is the thin thin thin slices of raw foie gras with hunky large crystals of Maldon salt served at Cellar (and probably Club) Gascon, with chewy sourdough bread. Like eating livery butter. Magnificent.

Fi Kirkpatrick

tofu fi fie pho fum

"Your avatar shoes look like Marge Simpson's hair." - therese

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If I was lucky enough to have foie gras...I mean a fesh piece not a canned one...I would definitely make the Torchon of Foie according to Thomas Keller. While it takes a few days preperation (only minutes per day), it requires no last minute work...just slice and garnish and feast. Sublime.

Lobster.

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In Paris recently I ate at Christian Constant's Le Violon D'Ingres. One of his signature starters is duck foie gras rolled in gingerbread crumbs and pan fried, served with quince preserves. It was easily the best foie gras preparation I've encountered (in my admittedly limited experience).

Edited by Lawen (log)
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