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Before starting this Duck Foie Gras with Granny-Smith, White Asparagus and Pine Aromas recipe, make sure you have organised all the necessary ingredients.
Peel the white asparagus.
Separate the heads by cutting the top 1/3. The remaining 2/3 will be used for the cream. Reserve the heads.
Slice the tails.
Place the tails into a deep saucepan with a little olive oil.
Season with salt. Here, salt is used as a taste enhancer. It is essential to add the salt at the start to enhance the flavour of an ingredient.
Braise over low heat for 2 minutes.
Braise the asparagus heads in a non-stick frying pan with a dash of olive oil.
As mentioned above, season the asparagus with salt. This will facilitate the cooking as it will help the asparagus to release its moisture. Cover with a lid and cook over low heat for 5 to 7 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus. When cooking is complete, transfer to another recipient and let cool.
When the tails are braised, immerse with milk and cold whipping cream. Bring to a boil slowly.
When the tail pieces are soft and easy to squash...
... pour the preparation into a blender recipient.
Pass the asparagus cream trough a chinois with metal mesh, pressing firmly.
Weigh the preparation. In this recipe, we obtained 310 grams of asparagus cream.
Reserve in the fridge.
Recommended agar-agar use: 7 to 8 grams per kilo for a soft texture. For 310 grams of preparation, we need 2.50 grams of agar-agar. We recommend weighing your preparation, as you might not have the exact same proportions as our recipe. For example, if you have 280 grams of asparagus cream, you will need 2.25 grams of agar-agar.
Add the required amount of agar-agar in the asparagus cream.
Combine with a whisk.
Transfer the preparation into a saucepan...
... and slowly bring to a boil, mixing with a whisk. The preparation should get to 100°C, then cook for 2 or 3 minutes. This last cooking stage will enable the jellifying properties of the agar-agar.
Pour the asparagus cream in a Flexipan mould (with mini savarin shapes).
Place in the fridge for 5 to 10 minutes to let the preparation jellify.
Gently remove the asparagus jellies. Tip: to remove the jellies more easily, place the mould in the freezer for a few minutes.
Cut the apples into quarters, remove the seeds...
... and process in a fruit juicer to extract as much juice as possible.
Remove the foam on the surface and pour the apple juice into a saucepan. Add the black peppercorns and lime juice. Place on low heat.
For the preparation of the foie gras: Separate the two lobes. Remove all visible veins and nerves. Do not open the lobes, as they should remain whole.
Cut the foie gras into generous slices. Soak them for 10 minutes into a brine made of cold water, salt, thyme and peeled garlic. Strain and rinse with water.
Season the foie gras slices with salt.
Poach the foie gras in the apple juice heated at 100°C (it should not boil) for 4 or 5 minutes. When cooked, remove the foie gras from the juice and reserve.
Weigh 200 grams of apple broth (in which the foie gras has been poached). Pass through a chinois to filter the peppercorns.
Thicken with xanthan gum. For this recipe, we used 0.6 grams of xanthan gum to obtain a coating consistency.
The xanthan gum can be added when the sauce is either hot or cold. Then, combine using a hand mixer (Bamix for instance) to obtain the desired consistency. Set aside.
For the finish: Place a slice of foie gras in the centre of each plate. Arrange 3 asparagus jellies around the foie gras.
Arrange the asparagus heads harmoniously. Coat the foie gras with some Granny-Smith broth.
Fill the asparagus jellies with a few drops of Sherry balsamic vinegar. This will enhance the taste of the asparagus jellies.
For an touch of originality, you can add 4 or 5 popped corns on each, as a reference to corn-fed ducks.
Cover the plates with a glass bell. Connect the food smoker to the glass bell with the pipe provided.
Fill the food smoker with sawdust up to 2/3. Turn the smoker on and ignite the sawdust.
A dense smoke is released and fills the glass bell within a few seconds.
Turn the smoker off and disconnect the pipe. You can serve the plate with the glass bell filled with smoke. This way, your guests do not know what they are about to eat, until the bell is removed...
... and the dish unveiled.
The smoke will give a smoky, woody flavour to the ingredients.