Today's recipe travels this great nation to create a bit of joy on my plate: wild forest mushrooms from British Columbia, creamy pureed Ontario corn soup and, with a flavour infusion of Quebec foie gras.
Stuffing foie gras into morels is something I have done often in my cooking career. You could just serve them with some buttery leeks, as an amuse-gueule or appetizer, but adding the creamy corn soup actually rounds off the flavour in a richer way.
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I like to use a foie gras terrine for this recipe so I do not have to fiddle with raw liver. I find it much easier to keep some foie gras au torchon in the freezer, but fresh foie gras works just as well.
Just make sure not to overheat the foie gras or it will become a greasy mess.
Ontario corn soup
3 cups sweet corn kernels (save the cobs for extra flavour)
2 tablespoons butter + 2 tablespoons for finishing
1 garlic clove, minced
1 bay leaf
1 cup onions, chopped
1 cup leeks, chopped
1 cup vegetable broth or chicken stock
1 ½ cups homogenized milk
Salt and pepper to taste
½ teaspoon butter + 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons shallots
¼ teaspoon fresh thyme, rubbed
½ teaspoon chives, chopped
¼ teaspoon chervil, chopped
1 tablespoon Panko breadcrumbs
4 ounces fresh foie gras or foie gras terrine
Salt and pepper to taste
12 large, firm, fresh morels, brushed
½ ounce brandy
Ontario Corn Soup
Cut the cobs in three pieces each and set aside.
Preheat a stockpot and add the butter, garlic, bay leaves, onions and leeks. Cook until translucent. Add the corn kernels and the cob pieces, then the stock and milk. Season with salt and pepper.
Simmer about 15 minutes. Remove and discard the cobs and the bay leaf. Simmer the rest of the corn for another 15 minutes.
Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature before placing the soup in a blender. Puree as fine as possible and strain in a fine mesh strainer to remove as much debris as possible. Add 2 tablespoons of butter for a creamy soup that's not too dense.
Preheat a frying pan and place 1/2 teaspoon of the butter in it. Add the shallots and all the herbs. Cook for about 30 seconds, until the shallots are translucent.
Put the bread crumbs in the pan and remove from the heat. Add the foie gras (or terrine, which is available in many fine-food stores) and salt and pepper and, using a fork, mix well to create a stuffing.
Taste for correct seasoning and use the stuffing to fill the morel mushrooms. (You can use a disposable plastic piping bag.)
Preheat a frying pan and add 2 tablespoons of butter.
Once melted, add the stuffed mushrooms and cook on all sides over a gentle heat. Sprinkle with the brandy and flame away the alcohol. This whole operation should take about three to four minutes.
Place the morels into the soup and serve.