Foie Gras Dinner

collageMuch lyrics have been waxed (heh heh heh) over the prowess of our friend Casey, but nothing really quite prepares you as he bustles through the door carrying his plastic bags of culinary goodies.

This blog entry has been languishing in blog purgatory for a while now because almost everyone deleted the menu and the motivation and inspiration behind the design and creation of these dishes. Fortunately Umami has written the dinner menu down and blogged about it. Thanks Umami!

Casey says that the recipes are not ready for publication yet as it requires more tweaking, but believe me, from the moment he started unpacking in the kitchen, this blog knew that it was in for an exciting dinner.

Roast Crackling Pork Belly

The menu was 5 main courses with a series of small side dishes, some contributed by friends. We started on some very fine Champagne and with Crab Cakes.

What’s so different about these Crab Cakes? Well, for one thing, they consists of two different types of crabs. The treatment of the crabs themselves were inspired by one of our visits to a famous Chinese restaurant here. And there was a small piece of Foie Gras embedded inside to provide a taste twist.

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This was served with Casey’s secret Black Pepper Sauce and Chive sauce. As you can see from the attempt at plating and decorating, this blog should stick with blogging.

The first side dish was a friend’s famous Chilled Drunken Chicken. This is steamed chicken with Shaoxing wine and then chilled to produce a most unique taste sensation. The chilling produces gelatin from the chicken fat in between the meat and the skin, the gelatin absorbs most of the flavour. We were spooning the gravy directly into our mouths.

Drunken Chicken (Chilled Chicken in Shaoxing wine)

If you can’t stand the skin, stay out of the chicken.

Next up was the Seafood Foie Gras Pancakes and Foie Gras Wonton. This has been done before in many restaurants to varying degrees of failure. However, when served with Casey’s Chilli Sauce, it worked.

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Next up was the Foie gras spring roll on Soybean Coulis. Again, Casey should just quit and bottle his Chilli sauce. The mind boggles at how many Soybean had to sacrifice itself to produce enough of the Coulis. The Spinach provided an interesting vegetal counterpoint to the sweetness.

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We now pause for a cause: DSD, this is the Sauternes that we were talking about, except that you should (only) ask for “d’Yquem” (pronounced “Yee-Kem”). And add this qualifier to the Wine Sommelier: “only the 1971 vintage“, preferrably when the person is taking a bite of food.

:p

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Anyway, Sauternes is just about the only wine I can think of that perfectly matches the sweetness of Foie Gras. A beautiful balance of sweetness and acidity that is only found in the finest of the Old World wines. It is no wonder that Sauternes is a class of its own.

And I had been saving a bottle for just the right occasion to share.

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Pan-searing Foie Gras is not an easy thing as a dear friend found out. The process only sounds easy. Casey spent hours doing each individual piece with the kind of care I normally associate bomb-disposal specialists.

The result? The Pan-seared Foie Gras on celeriac mousse drizzled with truffle jus was outstanding. The perfect match to the Sauternes.

The Celeriac mousse was silky smooth and a worthy replacement for the normal purée de pommes de terre but not as sticky starchy.

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But wait! There’s more! Just as we were recovering, Casey’s Ultimate Burger™ arrived. It was so delicious-looking that it was used in a news story.

Using a special bun that is not available for sale and slathered with Foie Gras butter -you didn’t think the Foie Gras goodness left in the pan was thrown away like some cheap oil did you?- We were provided a selection of cheeses to add to the burger.

Foie Gras with Otoro and Wagyu Beef Burger

The richness of the Foie Gras was off-set by the texture and freshness of the Bachi Otoro which was in turn balanced by the salty savoury Wagyu and aged cheese. Yes, this was a study in the balance of taste, texture and aroma that was wonderfully executed.

Burgers can be so much more elegant than mere meat in a bun. Slapping ridiculous quantities of high-quality meat like Wagyu Ribeye on a bun becomes banal after a short while.

RIMG0288 RIMG0291 RIMG0292 Foie Gras with Otoro and Wagyu Beef Burger

The process of doing the Wagyu Beef strips was so complex that I was exhausted when Casey finished describing it. This is not your pop-in-the-oven-and-wait Wagyu Beef.

Delicately flavoured with that rich beefiness that truly satisfies, I was fortunate enough to snag an extra strip and Casey was kind enough to provide a small but very informative lecture on which grades of Wagyu beef to use for which style of cooking.

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By now, we were wondering what happened to the roast pork belly we sneaked a peek at earlier. Well, good things happened.

Again, this deceptively simple-looking slab of goodness took a very complex process to develop the taste and crackling texture while maintaining a moist interior.

Braised Pork Belly done in Roast Suckling Pig Style RIMG0316 RIMG0312 RIMG0321

The brown sauce had hidden treasures inside. Nothing was wasted or thrown away from the cooking process. Wouldn’t you say this is good economic practice?

Brown Sauce (Wagyu Beef and Roast Pork drippings with Truffle jus)

Oh yes, being foodies with an inquiring mind and a strong curiosity, we wanted to see if we could produce an even crispier skin.

Yes, you can; just nuke it for one minute. 😉

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And as a precaution against hunger, the final carbo dish. This was a very interesting and complex dish that had us guessing and wondering what was that familar flavour that was infused with the rice.

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This fried rice was done using the remaining Foie Gras butter and instead of the usual sweet/savoury meat like Char Siew or bacon or luncheon meat, Casey used bits of Yam. This was that unfamilar flavour. And when it was revealed that Yam was used, the table went “Orrrrrrrrh!”

🙂

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This was a very exciting dinner because of the fresh new taste sensations. The inspiration for the dishes as well as the cooking methods were partly inspired by our visits to the many makan places but all synthesized into a cohesive taste experience by Casey.

I will not say more as he is fine-tuning the recipes and techniques, but I will say that Casey is a person to look out for in the future.

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Posted on 14th Dec 2006 in Food and Drink, Fusion, Makankaki

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There Are 4 Comments

 

Colin commented on December 14, 2006 at 1:37 pm


Sauterne and foie gras… *drool*
Where do I sign up?


 

hinata commented on December 14, 2006 at 10:34 pm


Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas is to be Casey’s friend. I’ll be good for the rest of the year, I promise.


 

superfinefeline commented on December 16, 2006 at 1:17 pm


Hinata’s expressed the wish on many a reader’s mind while reading this entry. 🙂


 

food.recentrunes.com » Blog Archive » A Round-up of 2006 commented on January 7, 2007 at 1:38 am


[…] 3. Foie Gras Dinner […]


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