In Paris, I was able to buy a huge lobe of foie gras for around $40 - it was actually more than we could eat! If you make this at home, you'll want to control portion size and cost - but that's okay because all you need is a taste to get that Paris feeling.
SEARED FOIE GRAS WITH BLACKBERRY SAUCE
1/3 cup aged balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 pint (170 g) fresh blackberries
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Approximately 1/2 pound fresh foie gras, sliced into 1/2-inch thick medallions and thoroughly chilled.
Salt, to taste
12 thin slices of bread with the crusts cut off, cut into triangles
1 tablespoon melted butter
In a small saucepan, combine balsamic vinegar and sugar. Cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes until sugar dissolves and vinegar reduces and thickens. Add blackberries, a grind of fresh pepper and remove from heat.
Season the foie generously on both side with salt and pepper and quickly sear in a hot pan for just 30 to 45 seconds per side. You should get a light crust - if more than a little foie melts in the pan, remove, re-chill the foie and get the pan hotter before trying again.
Arrange bread in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast under the broiler for just a few minutes per side. Brush with melted butter. Warm the sauce, divide toast points and foie gras among 4 to 6 plates, dress with blackberry sauce, and serve.
Traditionally, clafoutis was made with sweet black cherries, but I love the flavour of plums in this recipe, and they are more readily available year-round.
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon sugar
3 large eggs
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whipping cream
½ cup milk
1 tablespoon cassis liquor, or cognac
½ teaspoon cinnamon or cardamom (optional)
4 or 5 black plums, pitted and sliced
Preheat oven to 375 F. Prepare an 8- or 9-inch round baking dish by rubbing bottom and sides with butter and sprinkling with 1 tablespoon sugar. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine remaining sugar with eggs and whisk thoroughly. (You can use an electric mixer if you want.) Whisk in flour a little at a time to prevent lumps. Add salt, vanilla, cream, milk, liquor and spice, if using. Mix until just combined.
Cover the bottom of the baking dish with plum slices. Carefully pour batter overtop. Bake on centre rack for 35 to 40 minutes, until custard is just set and lightly brown around the edges.
Serves 4 to 6.