Try it, you’ll love it, says Petrit Husenaj, about his recipe for foie gras French toast—and you may even get over your guilt about the whole stuffed duck thing. Read more of Husenaj’s posts at My Social Chef.
Have you ever thought about what makes you a good person? You do the occasional charity walk to support your good friend’s cousin/uncle/grandmother to find a cure for whatever ails them. You’ve seen The Blind Side. You think about a career change into the nonprofit sector to “make a difference”—maybe you even dream of adopting a child from a developing country. These are all good things, and I also think about them. But I haven’t quit my job to work for justice or taken in a needy child… at least, not yet. It makes me wonder: What is stopping me from becoming this “good person?” Could it be an addiction to illegally downloading music? Lately, I’ve feared it may have to do with my foie gras obsession.
Whenever I go out to dinner, the rules of dieting and ethics of food preparation go right out the window. Something about seeing foie gras on the menu transforms me into an animal. Just the thought of it makes me salivate as if I’m having a seizure from watching a Japanese cartoon. So when Gilt Groupe recently had a sale on foie gras, I decided to order some. But while searching for the proper way to cook it, I was bombarded with search results about how terribly the ducks are treated and the inhumane way they are force-fed. I started to feel depressed. Should I throw out my order, or figure out a way to enjoy what has already been done? I mean, the poor duck’s liver is just sitting in my fridge. It’s of no more use to the duck. Right? I can’t undo what’s happened, and it would be a dishonor to the duck’s sacrifice to throw it away. That’s what I keep telling myself.
I cringed as I constructed this delectable appetizer. But then something magical happened: I tried it. And my inner animal took over once again. It’s so good, even the duck would approve. So what if this makes me a bad person?
Maybe I’ll feed it to my third-world adoptee. Then we’ll go bowling for charity and watch Pay It Forward. Or something.
• French Bread • Olive Oil • Foie Gras • Salt • Ground Black Pepper • Sage • Maple Syrup • Raspberries
Slice the bread into 1-inch pieces. Drizzle a pan with a little olive oil and heat for a minute on medium heat. Add the sliced bread and toast on both sides until golden brown. Once your bread is all toasty, wipe the pan dry with a paper towel and raise the heat to high. Be sure to get the pan nice and hot. My foie gras came presliced, but if yours didn’t, just cut it into about half-inch slices. Then sprinkle a little salt and pepper on each side and add your sliced foie gras to pan. Let it cook for 1 minute. The duck liver will begin to melt, so keep an eye on it. Right before you flip it, add a few sage leaves to the pan. Flip the duck liver and cook for another minute. While that side is cooking, spoon the rendered fat over the top of each piece. If you cook it too long, it will completely melt, so keep an eye on it; you want it soft, not runny. Once both sides are nice and brown, remove the foie gras and place it on a plate.
To plate the dish, add a piece of the liver to the toast, then place a raspberry on top and drizzle with a bit of maple syrup. Serve immediately, without guilt.
Petrit Husenaj is a writer based in New York City and the creator of the food blog My Social Chef.