Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Foie Gruesome

Yesterday in Chicago a ban on the sale of foie gras went into effect. For the uninitiated, foie gras is made by force-feeding geese or ducks until their livers become swollen with fat.

Photo courtesy of Farm Sanctuary.

After the animal is slaughtered, its liver is turned into a buttery pâté that looks not unlike a lump of canned cat food. Mmm, now that's good eatin'!

Despite the ban, many Chicago restaurants continue to serve the dish. Some, in fact, have added foie gras to their menus in a sort of act of culinary civil disobedience.

Most of those objecting to the ban seem to be in the camp of not wanting the city to dictate what they can eat; the motivation behind the law, to limit cruelty in the name of "haute cuisine," is apparently lost on them.

Well, I've always been told the law is the law. So the Chicago Police need to do what they did outside the 1968 Democratic National Convention. You know, get in there with some teargas, truncheons, mace, dogs, etc. Really beat some heads in. Give those civilly disobedient diners the what-for.

Nah, on second thought, that'd be cruel. You know, kind of inhumane.


Jack K. said...

Yeah, there is not much call for human foie gras. lol

Bird said...

i'm with my feathered friends on this one- of course!

besides, i prefer mushroom pate.

Jack K. said...

Mushrooms rule. I refuse to pass up a Portobello sandwich. They make a marvelous "burger".

ardlair said...

Seared Foie Gras with Pain Perdu and a Fresh Cranberry Compote

2 large eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
Pinch freshly ground cinnamon
8 slices French bread, cut diagonally and 1/2-inch thick
1/4 cup clarified butter
1 lobe grade-A foie gras, cleaned
Freshly ground black pepper
1 recipe Cranberry Compote, recipe above
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
In a shallow baking pan, beat the eggs with cream and cinnamon. Season with salt. Dip each piece of bread into egg mixture, allowing each piece to sit in the liquid for a couple of minutes.
In a large saute pan, melt the butter. Pan-fry the bread until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes. With a warm knife, slice the foie gras, diagonally, into 1-inch pieces. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

Heat a large saute pan, over medium heat. Add the foie gras and sear for 1 minute on the first side and 2 minutes on the second side. Remove and drain on paper towels.

Add the compote to the foie gras fat.

To assemble, place a piece of the pain perdu in the center of each serving plate. Lay a piece of foie gras over the bread. Spoon some of the Cranberry Compote over the foie gras. Garnish with parsley.


Pete Bogs said...

jack - I'm proposing turning those diners into human pate...

bird, jack - I cannot abide cruelty to mushrooms...

ardlair - you forgot the final step: "vomit"

CROAK said...

AAM makes a delicious pate from chicken livers... lots of port goes into it and peppercorns on top.

No need for 'foir gras' nowadays... plenty of other ways to enjoy the delicacy.

Pete Bogs said...

croak - no need for frog legs either, I would say... ;-)

Mr Q said...

Is not only in Chicago, but also the Chicago Chef's that have taken it around too. Ask Scott Hunnel at Victoria and Albert's. It was "ok" for me, nothing that would make me eat it again, so yes leave them ducks alone.

CROAK said...

I have tried frogs legs...( eeek I am a canibal!) but don't 'need' to eat them again. They were lovely ( lovely legs!) but the choices in our country mean we don't have to resort to such 'delicacies'.

On on..jump...plop..croak...

Pete Bogs said...

I have no delusions of a vegetarian world, but any dish that requires excessive cruelty (foie gras, veal, etc.) ought to be reconsidered...