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I’m Going on a Picnic and I’m Bringing … Foie Gras!

May 13, 2013 by Joan Nova in Creative Cooking Crew Challenge, Food Challenge, Food Pairings, Marrying Flavors, Recipe Development, Salads | 32 Comments

There’s a word game played during long car trips called “I’m Going on a Picnic …”. It’s also a drinking game played at parties. I’ve played both, though not recently. Perhaps you have too?

And, it’s this month’s Creative Cooking Crew challenge … a virtual picnic.

Really? Does anyone go on picnics anymore?
It seems so last century. In my world, that idyllic picnic has been replaced with backyard bbqs and/or restaurants that provide outdoor dining.

And what is traditional picnic food anyway?
I don’t recall ever going on a “traditional” picnic, except for the Spanish family picnics that I’ve written about before. I thought about doing a modern version of the Empanada Gallega shown, but I did that here. It actually would be a really good picnic food though — just not much of a challenge for me.

Most readers in America relate to fried chicken, potato salad, corn, and watermelon as popular picnic items. In other parts of the world, the picnic basket is filled with totally different food so I’m imagining the picnic I was invited to is on the banks of the Seine.

My picnic dish is transportive literally* and figuratively – and, of course, it’s something I wanted to eat. 

•      •     •

Seared Foie Gras, Raspberry Coulis, Cornichon Mustard
and a Fresh Dandelion Salad with Toasted Nuts and Edible Flowers

It may not be pretty or particularly photogenic, but it is definitely SEXY! Ooh la la.

This was my first time cooking foie gras and it was really easy. I started with flash frozen pieces imported from France which I defrosted, scored and placed in a very hot skillet till both sides started to release the fat and began to sear and brown (about 1 minute total). I then topped each piece with a few drops of sherry vinegar glaze and put them in the preheated 350-degree oven for just a few minutes more.

I made the cornichon mustard by pureeing a few cornichons and a wee bit of its juice with a handful of parsley and dijon mustard.

Fresh raspberries were pulsed with a little honey and a few drops of fruity extra virgin olive oil and ground red peppercorns.

For the dandelion salad, I just sprinkled a tiny bit of the duck fat (oh yes I did) on the freshly washed greens, tossed them with some whole raspberries and sprinkled finely chopped nuts.

*If you wanted to literally transport this to a picnic, I would carry each component separately and compose onsite.

I’ll be setting the entire picnic table with Creative Cooking Crew’s dishes on May 22 — just in time for Memorial Day and the start of the outdoor eating season. Come back for the round-up.

____________

 

NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for. A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!

32 Comments

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  1. Lori Lynn says:

    I cannot believe we are both bringing foie gras to the picnic! It is going to be some luxurious picnic, that’s for sure!
    Your dish is stunning, the components sing! Fabulous! Especially love how you plated the pink and green sauces. Food art!
    LL
    Lori Lynn recently posted..Grilled Scallop Sliders – Banh Mi StyleMy Profile

  2. Faith says:

    This is absolutely beautiful, Joan. I would not want to miss your picnic!

  3. Shannon says:

    i’m not a huge fan of fois gras, but this is absolutely gorgeous!! and i bet the tart raspberry is a perfect accompaniment to the rich fois :)

  4. christine says:

    OK….#1 I presume Ms. Casale will be at this picnic. If she’s not invited; she’ll probably never talk to you again; given that her middle name is “foie”. #2 this is gorgeously fabulous! #3 I’m diggin’ the foie crostini! and #4 uh, sweet & savory…I would try your S&S if you brought it on a picnic :)

  5. Beautiful plating, and not exactly any picnic food I know of, but one I would want to be invited to. Champagne?
    angela@spinachtiger recently posted..Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Biscuit Sundae with Hot Fudge SauceMy Profile

  6. bellini says:

    This trumps any picnic foods I have ever been served Joan.I still love to pack a picnic lunch to the beach and on special occasions when I want to spend time outdoors.

  7. cinzia says:

    Mais c’est magnifique, ma cherie! :-)
    Bon appétit!

  8. I’m for Foie Gras anytime and love it with fruit. It is very delicate and hope it travels well. Very creative idea and you have beautifully presented it. Better not tell too many people because you probably will be swamp with party crashers!
    Patricia Durr recently posted..Devil’s Garden, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, UtahMy Profile

  9. Foie Gras…what a lovely, guilty pleasure. I’ve never cooked it, but love it silky deliciousness. You inspire, as always, Joan.
    Victoria of Flavors of the Sun recently posted..Watercress, Mizuna, and Grapefruit Salad with Curry VinaigretteMy Profile

  10. Oh what a sublime choice Joan and gorgeous presentation. I always say the one food I won’t eat is liver…except foie gras. Great picnic choice!
    Evelyne@cheapethniceatz recently posted..Coconut Lime Tofu Pudding VerrinesMy Profile

  11. Robin Sue says:

    This dish is so colorful and decadent. Growing up, picnic food was a pot of pasta and meatballs- brought in the pot, wrapped in a towel. I did it once and everyone thought I was crazy until it got cold and rainy and we were the warmest and full family:) I also love to pack a thermos of coffee. Picnics were a big deal with my Italian family- tons of food!
    Robin Sue recently posted..Triple Lemon Ricotta Pancakes: Gluten-free and Baked, BOOM!My Profile

  12. Norma - Platanos, Mangoes and Me! says:

    I hope you brought extra because those two pieces are mine. Great job Joan…everything looks wonderful and those pics….

  13. What a gorgeous plate Joan. All of the colors surrounding the decadent foie gras. A very nice balance of flavors.

    Regarding picnics, we were driving along the road in Provence and there on the side of the road a French couple had set up a table mind you, complete with tablecloth and chairs and were having a leisurely picnic. I thought to myself how quaint and delightful. You’re right. You don’t see people having picnics here anymore.
    Sam
    Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen recently posted..Herb-Marinated Pork Tenderloin with a Greek Panzanella Salad from the Barefoot ContessaMy Profile

  14. First let me say that I love foie gras! I wish I had been at your picnic. Each picture made my mouth water. The plates were gorgeous works of art.

    Have a delicious day,
    Sandy
    sandra axelrod recently posted..Brian’s Big Four OMy Profile

  15. Victoria says:

    Wow, this is a super decadent picnic! I think the dish is beautiful (and definitely sexy). I’m going on a real picnic this weekend (not the Armenian kind) and so excited!
    Victoria recently posted..Pork Lo MeinMy Profile

  16. sippitysup says:

    This is stunning picnic fare. A picnic is a good idea too. You see I’m in Florida (St Pete)so I know firsthand just what kind of perfect picnic weather you are having. I just took a walk along the bay, it’s probably 76 and perfectly sparkling. I know the heat is on the way, but for once I timed my Florida trip just right. I wish I were on your coast I’d relish in your picnic. GREG

  17. deana sidney says:

    Foie gras is sexy — just the idea is sexy. But yes, shooting it requires a little imagination and pretty things around the brown slabs! You’ve worked magic here.

    The raspberries and mustard are perfect with the liver. WHen I was a kid I loved liver sausage and raspberry jam… who knew it could be the height of elegance if you just switched from pig to goose! Great dish for a picnic I would love to attend!
    deana sidney recently posted..Pirates, Jamaica and the Best Jerk Chicken Salad EverMy Profile

  18. oh my gosh what a fabulous picnic dish!! i’m in awe :)
    Jenn and Seth recently posted..Grilled Artichoke Quarters with Anchovy Garlic Drizzle – a Picnic PotluckMy Profile

  19. Joan, you crack me up. You wanted an excuse to eat fois gras, so you turned it into a picnic dish! And I don’t agree, the plating is beautiful and photogenic, I love the contrast of the raspberries with the brown “slab” and greens! It certainly elevates it. I like the idea of an elegant picnic once in a while for a privileged few!
    La Diva Cucina recently posted..It’s PICNIC TIME!My Profile

  20. Laz says:

    Great idea to use Foie. Love the blending of flavors and colors. Fantastic.

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