Foie Gras Shortbread with smoked duck breast and shaved foie gras torchon

For the foie gras shortbread:

8 ounces foie gras
4 ounces flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Sea salt
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten

In a food processor, pulse the foie gras until it is smooth. Add the baking powder, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper and pulse until just combined. Be careful not to over mix because the shortbread will be tough. Form the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic and chill for 2 hours. On a floured surface, roll the dough out to ¼ inch thickness and cut with 1 ½ inch round cutter. Brush with beaten egg yolk. Bake at 325° on a parchment lined cookie sheet for 20 minutes. Allow to cool on a rack.

For the smoked duck breast:

2 duck breasts
Red currant preserves
Salt and pepper

Score the skin on the duck breast and season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat a heavy sauté pan over medium flame. Add the duck breast skin side down and allow the fat to render out and the skin to get crisp and golden brown. Remove the duck breasts and brush the skin side with red currant preserves. Place in a stovetop smoker and smoke until the duck breast reaches medium rare, about 5 minutes. Let rest, slice thin and serve at room temperature.

For the foie gras torchon:

1 grade B duck foie gras
Milk to cover the foie
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
¼ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon pink salt (optional)
8 cups chicken stock

Cover the foie gras with milk and place it in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap overnight.

Remove the foie from the milk and rinse it. Pat it dry and cover it with a damp towel and let it sit at room temperature for about 45 minutes. It will be easier to clean this way.

To clean the foie, pull apart the two lobes. Remove any membranes from the outside of the foie. To remove the veins, turn the lobe over and locate the primary vein. Slice through the lobe towards the vein, pulling the foie apart to see the vein clearly. Turn your knife at a 45 degree angle and make an outward cut at each side to butterfly the foie. Using your fingers and knife, remove the primary vein. To remove the small veins, scrape across the butterflied part of the foie with a knife locating the smaller veins and remove them. Try to keep the outside of the lobe intact. Once the foie had been cleaned, form it back into its original shape. Repeat the same process to clean the smaller lobe.

Mix together the salt, pepper, sugar and pink salt. Press the foie gras into a container in an even layer about 1 inch thick. Sprinkle half of the seasoning mixture over the liver. Flip the foie over and sprinkle it with the remaining seasoning. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes.

Remove the foie from the container and place it on a sheet of parchment paper. Break it up to form a loaf about 6 inches long and 3 inches wide. Using the parchment, roll the foie into a log twisting and squeezing the ends of the parchment to compact the foie gras.

Unwrap the foie and discard the parchment paper. Transfer the log to a piece of cheesecloth placing it along the short end. Rolling the foie away from you into a tight log, twisting the ends to form a compact log. It always helps when a second person holds the end of the cheesecloth while you are rolling. Tie a piece of string around the ends of the cheesecloth making sure that the log is tight. You should see bits of foie being forced through the cheesecloth when the roll is tight enough.

Bring the stock to a simmer in a wide pot. Place the torchon in the simmering stock and poach for 90 seconds. Remove from the stock and set into an ice bath to cool. The foie will loose volume due to the fat melting away. With the torchon still in the cheesecloth, place the log into a clean dish towel. Roll the torchon returning the foie to its original density and pressing out the excess fat. Tie the ends of the towel with string and hang from a shelf in the refrigerator. Allow to chill overnight.

Place in freezer for one hour so that it is quite firm. Using a vegetable peeler, make curls of the torchon to top the canapé.

For the red currant vinaigrette:

1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons red currant preserves
¼ cup champagne vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
Micro greens

Combine shallot, preserves, vinegar and thyme in a bowl. Drizzle the oil in a steady stream while whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To assemble the canapé, place a small amount of micro greens that have been tossed with the red currant vinaigrette on top of the shortbread. Top with a piece of the thinly sliced duck breast and a curl of foie gras torchon. Garnish with a kernel or two of sea salt.

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© 2014 The Chopping Block Cooking School