Sautéed Foie Gras with Quince Confits

New York, New York

Very often when I create a dish it is spurred by the best ingredients I can find. I came up with this dish one day based on the seasonal ingredients I had at hand, and it was a dish that worked instantly. I had the picture so clearly in my mind of how the lentil salad would work with the quince, and how the foie gras would blend with the Sauternes and the lemon juice and the cooking liquid of the quince. I was convinced that it would work even before I tried it—and it did. In fact, it was so good the first time I tried it that it was just a matter of making a few minute adjustments. The richness of the foie gras needed a tart balance, and although quince is not typically used this way, it provided the right balance. There are three or four very exciting flavors in your mouth at once—then it goes into richness and then a little sour and then you have the wine also picking it up. All of that comes together, making a very interesting dish, and then the lentil salad makes it a little homey and more robust and adds a nice softness.

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 quince
  • 2 ounces Sauternes
  • 1/2 ounce honey
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice
  • sugar to taste
  • 3 ounces foie gras
  • 1/2 ounce butter (beurre noisette)
  • 1/4 ounce rice vinegar
  • 1/4 ounce veal stock
  • 2 teaspoons Calvados
  • 1 ounce green lentils
  • 1/2 ounce leeks, blanched beet greens
  • 1/4 ounce walnuts, roasted in butter
  • 1/4 ounce brioche, cut in lozenges and roasted in butter
  • 2 teaspoons walnut oil
  • 1/4 ounce chives

Method

  1. Cut the quince in round-shaped form; cook the slices in Sauternes, honey, and lemon juice. When ready, take the quince out, reduce the liquid, and put the quince back in.
  2. Cook the trimmings of quince with water, sugar, and lemon juice for 1 hour. Pass through a chinois; add some Sauternes, honey, and lemon juice. Adjust to taste.
  3. Sauté the foie gras in beurre noisette, deglaze with vinegar, add some veal stock, and finish with a splash of Calvados and quince stock.

Vegetables

  1. Make a lentil salad with a purée of lentils; season with vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  2. Marinate the blanched leeks with vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Place the beet greens upside down with the red stems facing up, forming a circle. Place the foie gras in this basket.

Topping

Roasted walnuts with croutons of brioche, walnut oil drizzled along the base of the plate, topped with vinegar and chives.