Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Foie Gras Stuffed Dates

I will start by saying that I realize there is controversy surrounding Foie Gras and I do apologize if this post offends. Foie gras is a popular and well-known delicacy in French cuisine. Its flavor is described as rich, buttery, and delicate, unlike that of a regular duck or goose liver. Foie gras is sold whole, or is prepared into mousse, or pâté. French law states that "Foie gras belongs to the protected cultural and gastronomical heritage of France."

In this recipe, found on epicurious.com, I purchased a pate at Central Market that did not contain goose or duck liver. I was told that true goose foie gras is only available at CM at Christmas time. This particular pate is chicken and turkey liver flavored with truffles. It was GREAT! Check out that awesome price too!

Hint about the dates: These Medjool dates are found in the "bulk foods" section at CM. They are sun-dried, intensifying their natural sweetness.

This easy (and impressive) appetizer begins with slicing the dates length-wise and removing the seed/nut in the center.

I planned for 2-3 pieces per person, but you should really think about who you are serving these too and plan accordingly. To make 12 servings, purchase 6 dates and about 2 ounces of foie gras pate.
Take a teaspoon and fill each date half with a heaping teaspoon full.

The last step takes these appetizers over the top! Fleur de sel ("Flower of salt" in French) is a hand-harvested sea salt collected by workers who scrape only the top layer of salt before it sinks to the bottom of large salt pans. Due to its relative scarcity, Fleur de sel is one of the more expensive salts, but know that you use it sparingly (not only because of its price) but because it's most often used as a finishing salt. It is usually sold in airtight jars as it is slightly damp. Take this precious chunky salt, and sprinkle lightly over each foie gras stuffed date.

Arrange on a platter, and enjoy! This is sure to impress at your next holiday party!

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