Wednesday, April 22, 2015

FFwD: Cabbage and Foie Gras Bundles

I was prepared to make Dorie's Cabbage and Foie Gras Bundles on schedule, a few months ago. I've had the foie gras in my fridge since November (don't worry, it hadn't expired yet.) How did I know it was from November? Because I had my friend, Hilary, pick some up for me while she spent a week in Paris, en route to Napoli, to visit us.

Fortunately, Hilary was staying with a friend in Paris, who brought her to a foie gras shop and did all the talking. I'd told Hilary what Dorie says in the intro, to "buy a small terrine of foie gras made from whole pieces of foie gras, not a mousse or pate made from ground or chopped foie gras." That was not enough information for the woman at the store. Over facebook, Hilary asked me what I was using it for. I told her that I was going to wrap it in a cabbage leaf and steam it. The shopkeeper was befuddled, and said she'd never heard of anyone doing that before. I told Hilary that it sounded like a tragic waste of foie gras to me, but that was the recipe. She had her friend repeat this to the woman. Hilary said that the woman hooted with laughter, and kept repeating, "Oui! Oui! Trajeeeek!" Quite the scene.

After that, I couldn't quite figure out the correct opportunity to make this recipe. I have friends over for dinner often, but don't usually do an appetizer or small plate type of thing. I could never figure out where to fit this in.

However, with the foie gras' expiration date fast approaching, and the deadline for Around My French Table looming, I seized upon the fact that our friends, who are about to move to San Diego, came over for one last lazy Sunday BBQ over the weekend as reason enough to crack open the foie gras and bust out this recipe.

May I just state that I feel like I live in an alternate universe right now, in which I'm like, "Oh yeah, come over for a casual barbecue. While the boys are grilling, we'll eat foie gras and some tartufo pecorino that I happen to have in the fridge." Moving home is going to be a bit of a shock to my system.

I liked that the recipe could mostly be prepared ahead of time, and the little bundles just steamed right before you want to eat them.
Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy eating these. My primary problem was textural. It was too soft and mushy. Paired with the livery aftertaste, it was hard for me to swallow. I did eat my entire bundle over the course of several bites, and even finished the last bite a few minutes later, when my friend (who LOVED them) told me that I should try them again, because they'd cooled off a bit and firmed up to the perfect consistency. Not for me. I know I've eaten and enjoyed dishes in restaurants that included foie gras, but I didn't like this. Matt liked them at first, but after he ate two, he didn't like the aftertaste. Whataya gonna do?