Tag Archives: foie gras

Vive Bastille Day!

Instead of storming a Parisian prison, storm into that kitchen and get cooking! Today’s the day the French stormed the Bastille prison in 1789, an open act of rebellion against the monarchy that is considered a turning point of the French Revolution.

After the Revolution, “while their former bosses were fleeing the country or losing their heads to the guillotine, chefs of the royal court found themselves out on the rue without so much as a roux to whisk,” said Carl Hanson.

Lucky for them, a promising new institution had begun popping up in Paris during the second half of the 18th century. This new-fangled thing was known as the restaurant. The first restaurants had opened in the 1760s and originally catered to those of fragile health. In fact, the word “restaurant” refers not to resting or ranting but to the “restorative” broths that were intended to return delicate Parisians and weary travelers to good health.

With the arrival of revolution, however, the restaurant became a venue for displaced chefs to practice their craft in a clean setting that, significantly, was open to all comers, not just royalty. For once, it did not require a noble pedigree to dine like a king, only sufficient funds to pay the check. And with that, the art of fine dining was born!

So, in celebration today, we made homemade croissants (the recipe is after the jump). And for a whole meal, check out a couple of our other favorite French-inspired recipes.

Simple & Healthy Crustless Quiche
Strawberry Tart with Basil Whipped Cream
Honey-Roasted Almond Vinaigrette
Foie Gras Toasts

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Filed under breakfast, dessert, Food, holiday, Outside DC, Recipes, Uncategorized

In Print: Clips from Food Sections

5. – Baltimore Sun Gas Up, Chow Down “If you’re a pay-at-the-pump patron like me, you probably don’t get inside gas stations often. So you might be surprised to learn that they now offer far more than leathery wieners set on rollers. At finer gas stations, you’ll discover fruit. Yes, fruit. Uncanned and still in its skin. You’ll find salads, hoagies, subs, wraps, fried chicken, vegetable snacks and … hmmm, sushi?”

4. – Chicago Tribune Ready, Set… grill! “Memorial Day officially welcomes those fragrant curls of smoke that beckon barbecuers to hit the deck and fire up the grill. About 76 percent of consumers prefer to cook outside on the grill during warmer months…”

3. – Denver Post No-heat methods Not a new thing “Humans have devised ways of preparing and preserving food, sans heat, almost since humans started eating. Ancient Egyptians pickled fish and melons. Hippocrates spoke of the healing powers of vinegar in the fifth century B.C. None other than Christopher Columbus introduced pigs to this continent, and early Americans preserved their meat as salt pork. Today, we still use many ancient no-heat methods to produce some of our favorite flavors.”

2. – The Register-Guard Summer Squeeze “After nearly a decade in the lemonade business, Josh Thomas is looking forward to handing off some of his responsibilities to a successor. But he’ll probably wait until his brother turns 4, the same age he was when he opened his award-winning stand.”

1. – NY Times Ban Lifted, Foie Gras is Back on the Menu in Chicago “On Wednesday, Chicago’s aldermen voted, 37 to 6, to repeal their ban on sales of the controversial delicacy, the fattened livers of ducks and geese. Since 2006, when this became the first major city in the United States to enact such a ban, it had been mocked by critics…”

photo from the Associated Press

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Filed under Beverage, Food, News, Outside DC, Restaurants

Lobster Sushi, not quite market-priced

Apparently even a well-dressed sushi can look like a million bucks….or at least a thousand!

Koi, a sushi restaurant in New York City, is now serving a $1,000 sushi roll, cleverly named the “high roller.” Along with the interior of sweet lobster, or langoustine, sashimi, the chef at Koi tops the roll with fois gras, vanilla/saffron butter, 200 year old balsamic, and caviar. Then prepare to mingle with the culinary master himself, as he then shaves white alba truffles, table-side.

Admittedly, I love sushi, fois gras, lobster and a well-aged balsamic. And the dish sounds does fabulous. But come on, I could get 100 rolls from Sashi Ko over the next year for the price, and with far less guilt for the damage caused to my wallet.

Come to think of it, I have been dying to roll my own sushi. Perhaps it’s time to try, of course drawing inspiration from this chic menu item!

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Easy Apps: Foie Gras Toasts

Looking for an impressive appetizer that’s easy to prepare for your next cocktail party? Wow your guests with these foie gras toasts.
foiegras.jpg

Foie Gras Toasts

1 torchon of foie gras (available from speciality food stores such as Balducci’s or Dean and Deluca)
1 loaf white sandwich bread
1/2 stick butter, softened
1 jar of your favorite jam or jelly – (I recommed sour cherry jam as the tartness goes well with the richness of the foie gras.)

Start by cutting the crust off the bread then cutting the squares into triangles. Lightly coat with butter and then “toast” by cooking on a non-stick skillet over medium heat until lightly golden brown. Flip and repeat. Once all bread has been toasted, set it aside while cutting foie gras.

Remove foie gras from refrigerator and slice into thin rounds. (The colder the foie gras, the better it will be to handle.) Using a mini cookie cutter, carefully cut out the desired shape from the rounds. Prepare as many “slices” as you have triangles of bread. Set aside.

Spread the sour cherry jam on triangles of bread and top with cutout of foie gras. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

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