Seared Foie Gras with Hibiscus Purée & Concord Grape Salad
Ken Oringer | Yield: 6-8
Hibiscus is an unexpected, but delightfully fresh complement that cuts through the fattiness of foie gras. A salad of Concord grapes, crunchy celery and bitter baby mustard greens, brings all of the flavors together in this exotic recipe from Boston chef Ken Oringer.
- 1 pound Hudson Valley Grade A Duck Foie Gras
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Fleur de sel, to taste
- Flaked honey, to taste
- Fennel seeds, to taste
- 1/4 cup basil seeds, soaked in 2 cups of water with 10 drops of menthol essence added
- 2 ounces dried Hibiscus petals
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Fresh lemon juice, one squeeze of a half a lemon
- 1 piece crystallized ginger, about 1-inch long
- 1 pound Concord grapes
- 1 bunch peeled Concord grapes, about 30 grapes; reserve the skins
- Honey powder
- 2 cups micro celery, or substitute baby celery leaves
- 2 cups micro mustard greens
- 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey, or to taste
- Prepare the Hibiscus Purée: Combine all of the ingredients for the hibiscus purée in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook slowly for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover with plastic wrap and let sit to soften (about one hour.) Purée and add lemon juice to taste. Set aside.
- Prepare the Grape Jam: Place all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a a boil over medium high heat. Lower the heat to medium and simmer until reduced to a jam-like consistency. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. The pectin in the grapes will cause the jam to thicken further as it cools. When cooled, pass through a sieve to strain and set aside.
- Prepare the Grape Salad: Peel the grapes, reserving the skins for the “crispy grapes” recipe below, and roll them around in the honey powder. Prepare the dressing by lightly mixing together the honey and vinegar. Toss the greens and grapes in the dressing, reserving some greens for garnish.
- Prepare the Crispy Grapes: Prepare a thick simple syrup by bringing 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a saucepan. Simmer until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Brush the grape skin peelings with the simple syrup to coat thoroughly then place on a silpat-lined baking sheet and bake in a 200 degrees F oven until crispy, about 1 hour.
- Prepare the Foie Gras: Separate the foie gras into 2 lobes and, using a long, sharp knife dipped in boiling water, slice the lobes into even, 1 inch thick portions. Reheat the knife as needed in the water to slice the entire lobe.
- Score each slice of foie gras on both sides and season liberally with the kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sear the foie gras in a hot skillet, cooking the foie gras on each side just until it turns golden brown. Note: For safety, Chef Oringer recommends that the pan be removed from the heat before turning the slices over while searing.
- Baste the sliced foie gras in the fat that renders as it cooks until the foie slices are cooked. The cooked foie gras should be a nice golden brown color on the outside with a creamy center when finished.
- Top each slice of foie gras with a pinch each of fleur de sel, flaked honey, fennel seeds and a few of the crunchy Concord grape skins.
- To plate, use a spoon to streak the center of each plate with the hibiscus purée. Place a dot of the concord grape jam at the top outside edge of the plate and balance it with a dot of the basil seeds on the opposite side of the plate. Add a small serving (about 1 tablespoon) of the grape salad at one end of the hibiscus purée streak and top it with some flaked honey. At the other end of the hibiscus purée streak, place a slice of the seared foie gras perpendicular to the streak and garnish it with a bit of the mixed micro greens. Finish with a small dollop of yogurt on top of the foie gras.