Foie Gras, Almond, Amaretto & Espresso
Danny Grant, RIA, Waldorf Astoria Hotel Chicago / March 2012
For 6 servings (requires advance preparation)
Almond milk panna cotta:
• 4 1/4 cups whole milk
• 1/4 cup almonds, grated on a Microplane
• 2/3 cup blanched almonds
• 2/3 cup blanched almonds, toasted
• nutmeg, freshly grated
• 2 sheets gelatin, bloomed in cold water
• whole espresso beans
Bring milk, grated almonds, and untoasted blanched almonds to a boil in large pot; add toasted almonds; remove from heat; cover with plastic wrap; let steep 15 minutes.
Place mixture in a blender; blend until smooth (about 7 minutes); season with salt and nutmeg; strain through fine chinois into a bowl; strain 2 more times; strain through coffee filter into clean pot (should measure out to about 1 3/4 cups).
Heat almond milk base until instant-read thermometer registers 160°F; add gelatin; cook, stirring, until gelatin dissolves; remove from heat; strain through fine chinois into a bowl; place in ice water bath; cool, agitating and spinning bowl constantly, until crème anglaise consistency is reached.
Place 4 1/4 tsps. panna cotta on each serving plate; grate espresso beans over with Microplane; refrigerate until cool and panna cotta has set; reserve in refrigerator.
• 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsps. amaretto
• 1/3 tsp. agar-agar
• 1/4 tsp. kappa carrageenan
Bring amaretto and 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. water to a boil in small saucepan; cook until reduced by 50 percent; stir in agar-agar and kappa carrageenan; bring to a boil, whisking constantly; remove from heat; strain through fine chinois onto half Lexan baking sheet (should have about 1/3 cup); spread out evenly; tap out any air bubbles on counter; cool.
Cut out small disks with 1 1/2"-round cookie cutter; reserve.
• 1 1/3 cups espresso
• 2 Tbsps. plus 1/3 tsp. Kahlúa
• 2 1/2 tsps. granulated sugar
• 1/2 tsp. xantham gum
• 1/2 tsp. low gellan gum
• 1/3 tsp. high gellan gum
Blend all ingredients except salt in a blender on high speed 5 minutes; spread out on baking sheet; cool until set and firm; puree in blender until smooth; season; reserve.
• 1 1/3 cups amaretto
• 1 tsp. agar-agar
Reduce amaretto and 1 1/3 cups water by 50 percent; stir in agar-agar; bring to a boil, whisking constantly; remove from heat; spread out evenly on baking sheet; cool until set; place in a blender; blend until smooth; reserve.
Cacao nib tuile:
• 1/3 cup unsalted butter
• 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
• 2 Tbsps. plus 1/3 tsp. all-purpose flour
• 2 Tbsps. plus 1/3 tsp. cocoa powder
• 3 Tbsps. honey
• 2 Tbsps. cacao nibs
Heat oven to 350°F.
Heat butter and 3 Tbsps. water in a saucepan set over low heat; mix sugar, flour, and cocoa powder in a bowl; add butter mixture and honey; whisk until well-combined and smooth; spread evenly in baking sheet lined with nonstick baking mat; sprinkle cocoa nibs over top; bake 12 minutes; remove from oven; cool; place in a blender; blend to a powder; reserve.
Heat oven to 500°F without fan running.
Coat another baking sheet lined with nonstick baking mat with cooking spray; place sheet of acetate with 2 1/3" long by 1 1/3" wide teardrop shape cutouts on top of baking mat; using a fine sieve, sift powder evenly over cutouts; remove acetate, leaving teardrop shapes; bake until powder melts and sticks together (about 1 minute); remove tuiles from baking sheet while still hot; place on top of paper towels in airtight container; add silica packet to absorb moisture (but not touching tuiles); cover; reserve.
• 2 1/4 lbs. foie gras
• whole milk
• 1 Tbsp. sel rose (curing salt)
• 5 Tbsps. truffle juice
• 2 Tbsps. plus 1/3 tsp. Armagnac
• black pepper, freshly ground
Line a 12" long by 3" wide by 2 1/2" tall terrine with plastic wrap, leaving overhang; reserve.
Place foie gras in a bowl; cover with milk; soak overnight; remove foie gras; place in airtight Lexon container; cover; let stand until room temperature (45 to 50 minutes); separate lobes; cut into 3/4"-thick slices; remove any visible large veins; sprinkle with sel rose; place in vacuum-sealable plastic food bag so each piece is lying flat and not touching each other; add truffle juice and Armagnac; vacuum seal; marinate overnight.
Cook sous-vide, maintaining water bath at 130°F, until foie gras is tender all the way through and has released ample amount of fat (7 to 10 minutes); remove from water bath; remove foie gras from bag; drain off fat; season; pack into terrine; cover with excess plastic wrap; place weight on top; refrigerate overnight.
To serve, unweight foie gras; remove from terrine; cut into 3/4" cubes; season; place 2 cubes on top of panna cotta on each plate; place a cacao nib tuile on 1 foie gras cube; place some Amaretto veil on other cube; garnish plate with Amaretto and espresso gels.