Foie Gras

The Whole Foie Gras – presented on a platter to the table…
…taken back to the kitchen and served thusly!
Per Se, New York City

Foie Gras ‘en torchon’ with Wasabi Crisp
Muscat, Cardamon, and Chenin Blanc Syrup
Alex, Las Vegas

Foie Gras Seared with Cherries and Cassia Gastrique
Water Grill, Los Angeles

Ahi Tuna and Foie Gras Sushi Roll
Caviar Russe, New York City

Foie Gras Parfait with Orange Cognac Gelée
Water Grill, Los Angeles

Seared Sonoma Foie Gras, Figs, Port, Brioche
Carneros Bistro, Sonoma
Moulard Duck Foie Gras in Terrine
Field Rhubarb Relish, Sicilian Pistachio Miettes
The French Laundry, Yountville
Are you a fan of foie gras?
“Oh, ‘crise de foie,’ that French sole was so delicious!” penned Julia Child.
Crisis of the Liver? I get such a kick out of that expression!
This latest compilation of photographs was prompted by an email that came from Thailand yesterday morning. My sister-in-law’s father, Jim, is in Pattaya. He thought we might be interested in what they are serving up over in his neck of the woods: A Complete Menu of Foie Gras! Incredible – I just had to post it here:
APPETIZERS
Foie Gras Teriyaki  300
Charcoal grilled sweet soy sauce marinated goose liver, baby leek gently glazed with teriyaki sauce
Sushi Foie Gras  400
Steamed Japanese rice topped with pan-seared Foie Gras, scented with a sweet cherry & preserved Chinese plum sauce
Foie Gras Spring Rolls  650
Deep-fried spring rolls filled with duck Foie Gras & scented with port wine, Oriental mushroom duxelles, chilli & coriander sauce
Foie Gras Dumplings  400
A blend of steamed pork & shrimp dumpling, coupled with seared Foie Gras – to amuse your bouche…
Foie Gras Bruschetta  850
Pan-seared goose liver, on toasted brioche with orange sauce & mesclun leaves – how often can you say ‘wow’!
Foie Gras Fritter  850
Deep-fried port wine marinated Foie Gras served, with a wild berry dip – you’ve struck gold!
MAIN COURSES
Foie Gras with Spicy Sauce  750
Wok-fried crispy goose liver, onions, chilli, garlic & hot basil leaves with white truffle scented fried rice – try this Thai twist…
Foie Gras Pizza  850
Pan-seared goose liver, blue figs, tomato sauce, mozzarella & fontina cheese, with wild arugula salad & Italian parsley
Foie Gras with Angel Hair Pasta  850
Capellini pasta & grilled chicken, tossed in extra virgin olive oil, garlic, basil & chicken jus, topped with pan-seared goose liver & grated Parmesan cheese – a little Italian twist…
Foie Gras with XO Sauce  950
Chinese wok-fried goose liver, white asparagus, honey beans, maple glazed walnuts & XO sauce, served with crispy egg noodles… Ohhhhhh soooo fabulous!
Foie Gras Risotto  1,250
Arborio rice gently cooked in special broth, seasoned with Parmesan cheese & truffle, topped with pan-seared goose liver & black cherry sauce
Beef Sirloin & Foie Gras  3,000
Charcoal-grilled US prime selected sirloin of beef, with pan-fried goose liver caramelized onions, sautéed potatoes & a port wine reduction – inspirational or simply sensational?!
Gratinated Beef & Foie Gras  3,500
Lavastone grilled US fillet of beef, artichoke & goose liver topped with cheese, wild mushrooms & black truffle sauce – ah the good life – wine, dine, recline…
MANTRA RESTAURANT & BAR in Pattaya, Thailand. This is their special menu for November. The prices are in baht, approx. 35 baht to one US dollar.

So, foie fans, what do you think? Shall we meet in Pattaya?

The Good Witch

My family and friends often ask why don’t I write about my dogs on the blog? Well, in a nutshell, it is because this is after all a food blog, but over time, I have come to realize it is also a blog about us too. With Halloween right around the corner, I thought I would share this photo of my Boston Terrier, Mrs. O’Mally, from Halloween 2004. She was such a good sport when it came to dressing up.

Mrs. O’Mally
November 28, 1998 – October 22, 2008
This photo was taken on Monday, October 20, 2008. Mally was resting on her pink blanket in a little pen. The neurologist we saw earlier that day recommended that I keep her inactive and quiet to help her recuperate. But due to complications from Cushing’s disease and a ruptured disc, I had to put her to sleep on Wednesday (yesterday). She was unable to use her back legs and the pain had gotten much much worse overnight. I think it is a blessing that we are able to put our beloved pets out of their misery when the time comes. When I took her back to the veterinarian for the second time yesterday morning to control the pain, I knew it was time. And I was convinced that Mally was giving me the same message, “it’s time, mom.”
She was my sweet companion for almost 9 years. I rescued her when she was one year old. After rescuing Mrs. O, I have since rescued Homer and then Wilson from Boston Terrier rescues. Homer was with us for a relatively short time. He was older when I got him and had been abused and had many health issues. We gave him a loving home for his final years. Of course I still miss him terribly. Wilson is 5 years old now; we got him after Homer passed. Aside from being sad and wondering where Mally is, he is doing fine. A couple years ago, poor Wilson was brutally attacked by another dog, his eye severely damaged. And then, as if things couldn’t get any worse, his previous owners decided to dump him at a shelter. Boston Buddies rescued Wilson, but were unable to save his eye. Yet, in spite of his bad experience, Wilson is a love bug. I read about him on their website and soon after, he came to live with us. He and Mrs. O’Mally were great pals. To see a photo of Wilson, just scroll down to the very bottom of my blog.
In honor of my little Mally, I would like to suggest to those that are thinking about getting a pet, to please consider a rescue. These precious beings seem to be so grateful to finally find a safe, permanent loving home. Wilson came from the Southern California Boston Terrier Rescue. These folks are so dedicated and compassionate. Please check out their website to read about the dogs that are looking for their “forever home” and if you have Kleenex handy, take a look at the In Memory page, to read heart-breaking yet heart-warming stories about Bostons that have crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

Dear Sweet Mally –
Thanks for being such a wonderful companion, rest in peace, girl.

Mélange de Haricots, Parmesan Sage Breadcrumbs

Side Dish Time!
Mélange de Haricots
Parmesan Sage Breadcrumbs

Sauté sage leaves in butter for a couple minutes until slightly crisp. Remove them to a paper towel. Have you tasted warm whole fried sage leaves? They melt in your mouth like a savory candy…

Add panko bread crumbs to that same butter and toss until browned. Then add grated Parmesan and torn crispy sage leaves. Turn off the heat and mix well. This is my opportunity to thank the folks at Foodbuzz for the gifts: A cool green spatula and a nifty apron. Thanks guys! And a hearty congratulations on the Launch today.

Mélange de Haricots, a mix of French Green Beans and Yellow Wax Beans. Cook the beans then toss with a little butter and salt & pepper.
I have discovered these convenient little bags of fresh (baby) vegetables at the market. Snip the corner and microwave for 3 to 4 minutes, and the vegetables come out cooked perfectly. You may have seen the baby carrots I made on Rosh Hashanah? I am equally impressed with the beans and squash.

Sprinkle the warm toasted Parmesan Sage Breadcrumbs over the cooked beans. Toss gently.

Makes a great accompaniment to filet mignon! I am sending this Mélange de Haricots over to Sra of When My Soup Came Alive blog, as she is hosting Susan’s Legume Love Affair Event for October. Do you like all kinds of beans? Make sure to check out Legume Love!

Birthday Wishes

Today is my mother’s 75th birthday.

You may have seen the previous post, and know that we took her to Las Vegas to celebrate her birthday. Our goal was to celebrate her at least 75 times during the course of the weekend. We toasted with Champagne, had cake, we sang, and toasted some more…

She emailed me when she got home and said, “I think you all said happy birthday more than 75 times.”

This photograph of Joyce was taken in 1963 at my Nana & Papa’s 50th Wedding Anniversary party. Here, she was making a toast to her in-laws. We made the photo into a card and decorated it with her favorite – butterflies.
As kids, whenever we would ask how old she was, she would always say 29. So…
Joyce turns 29…
…for the 47th time!
Happy Birthday Ma!
We Love You.

Franciscan Apple

That was a big pot of Meat Soup I made a few days ago, so no surprise there are leftovers. But the real reason I am posting this soup again is the response and expressed curiosity in our family history. I am amazed and touched by your interest.
Franciscan Earthenware was a wedding gift to my father and his first wife. My mother “inherited” this china when she married him. She has been enjoying her home-cooked meals on this same china for well over a half century. She still has most of the pieces, a few are chipped, but overall a fine collection in great condition. This china has proven to be very durable. Ma even puts it in the dishwasher now!
Franciscan Apple is one of the most popular raised-relief hand-painted patterns from Gladding, McBean & Co., which began production of Franciscan dinnerware in 1934 at their plant in Glendale, California. This pattern first appeared in 1940. Ma graciously has lent me several pieces from her collection. As you may have read earlier, I am addicted to dinnerware.
The name Franciscan is an allusion to Franciscan Friars and reflected the simple, informal style of Mexican folk pottery. The Franciscan Apple pattern has become a darling of collectors with its branches, beautiful green leaves and red harvest apples painted on cream-colored porcelain reminiscent of days gone by.
American production of Franciscan Ware ceased in 1984, following the announcement to relocate all Franciscan production to England. Franciscan Apple pattern is still made today under the Wedgwood Group. It is slightly different now and many pieces are larger than the originals, but still charming as ever.

Good Morning: Coffee & Labneh with Yuzu Marmalade

Meat Soup

What’s in a name?
The other day I was asking my Mother about recipes from the past.
Ma: Your Nana (my paternal grandmother) made excellent soups.
Me: Like what? I remember her chicken soup and borscht…what else?
Ma: Oh, I liked her meat soup.
Me: Meat Soup?
Ma: It’s like chicken soup but with meat. I think I still have the recipe…
My Nana was born in Kiev, Russia 1894. The family fled to Canada when she was a young girl. Her name was Vitte but she took her sister’s name, Fanny, after Fanny was killed in a machine accident. She met my Papa (paternal grandfather) when they were teenagers and their families were living in the same apartment complex in Montreal. His name was Yitzcok when he was born in Romania 1891 but changed it to Isadore upon arrival in Canada when he was 13 years old. He celebrated his Bar Mitzvah on the boat. Fanny and Isadore married then made their way to America and settled in Chicago where Papa took on the name, Irving, and they raised their children, Edythe and Leonard (my father).
I remember one day when we were kids, my Dad asked us if we knew Papa’s real name. I thought about it and said “Is” because that’s what Nana called him. Then I fell into a fit of giggles. What kind of name is Is, Dad? That’s a verb!
My nephews are Stone Leonard, his middle name in memory of our father, and Jett Izzy’s middle name is in honor of our Papa – Is, or Izzy.
Meat Soup
3 1/2 lbs. short ribs
4 carrots
2 onions
2 parsnips
3 celery stalks
1 parsley root
1 c. dried large lima beans
Egg noodles
These are the ingredients my Mother has listed on her old recipe index card from notes she took years ago while watching her mother-in-law make meat soup.
Here is how I made my Nana’s soup:
Put short ribs in a soup pot full of water, heat on high until the water boils, then turn down the heat to a simmer. Skim off the scum and fat constantly. After 1 1/2 hours add rough chopped vegetables and beans. (I couldn’t find parsley root so I used a bunch of parsley). Simmer another hour or so, until the beans are cooked and the meat is butter-tender and falling off the bone. Season with salt and pepper. (I also added some beef base). To serve, put cooked egg noodles in a bowl and ladle soup on top.

Meat soup. What’s in a name? Indeed.