Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fois Gras Mousse; the cook's tears of joy inducer. Judging; an experience.

Charcuterie! RUN PETA RUN!
The usual suspects; Cured Meat, Artisan Cheese (1608, Big Brother), Ice Wine Plums, Fig Jam, but note the Rabbit Ballantine hiding behind the Prosciutto. More so, the fois at the bottom of the pic is the recipe written below.
A mid course, but more importantly, another shot of the fois.

Proof I did go... Yup... can say I have been there, done that.
Moving on...

Proof I was in the arena with Chefs*

*by Chef's, two thirds present where teachers and instructors, so I use the term loosely. In fact, I still prefer and remain very proud to refer to myself as a cook.

The tasting.
God bless the sippy cup of water I clutched through this. Overall, it was a good experience, one which I took a lot away from.

A friend of mine I know through the C.W.C. program invited me to tag along as a tasting judge for the Skills Canada Culinary Competition. Based in Waterloo, it was our job to determine the national winner who were representing their province of residence. There were 12 dishes and by the end of the experience, at least for myself, just one clear winner. I will not go into further details but I will point out that I thoroughly tasted 12 meals, and only 1 (The Winner) was seasoned properly.
Last week, I was asked to prepare fois mousse and given a recipe by Chef. It was awesome. The marinated, cooking, and finally emulsion of the two fats really gelled well with the taste and texture. I will leave notes on how to achieve this god like ridiculousness from duckies below.
Fois Gras Mousse
1.5 lbs. Fois (Cleaned)
2 oz. Cognac
1 oz. White Truffle Oil
1) Cryovac all the ingredients together and marinate for 4 hours refrigerated.
2) Sous Vide @ 212 for 4.5 Minutes. Check for doneness, it will be finished when the texture is identical to seared fois.
3) Remove and strain the contents of the bag through a fine chinoise (Reserve the fat!!!). Chill the fois (1 hour), and leave the fat @ room temp (actually, slightly cooler, like in a basement sort of temp).
4) Bring the fois back up to room temp and press through a fine mesh tamis (THANK YOU TAP PHONGS!).
5) In a mixer, whip the fois at high speed. VERY SLOWLY, incorporate only half the fat. Make sure the fat is more on the side of cold then room temp (fat at 11C is best. Anything past 12C will not emulsify properly and your eye will begin twitching). If you decide to spilt it (Insert swear word here), use small amounts of very cold butter to chill the fat. Season to taste.
6) Triple Cling Wrap a small Terrine Mould and pour the fois mixture in. Chill for 20 minutes before wrapping, and pressing with weights overnight (I use whole pounds of butter for this task).
Allow apprentices to rub your feet over the heavenly texture that is this accomplishment.

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