Chestnut Cream Soup with a Slice of Pan Fried Fresh Foie Gras [fr]
This month, the Consulate’s Chef teaches us how to cook the Chestnut Cream Soup with a Slice of Pan Fried Fresh Foie Gras that will be a perfect companion to your holiday dinners.
Hello everyone !!
Here we are in the month of December ! The end of the year is quickly approaching and like every year we are going to celebrate the holidays with our families and friends, and we are all asking ourselves the same question: What shall we prepare ?
For Christmas, Hannukkah, Kwanza and New Year’s Eve, we pull out all the stops with holiday recipes that are either classic or original, easy or worthy of a Michelin star chef. Whether you are traditional or artsy, more into turkey or foie gras, oysters or scallops…the holiday delicacies will delight your guests. For desert, logs are hard to surpass. Chocolaty, chilled or fruity, it is impossible not to succumb to the traditional Christmas log. Of course, we must not forget to decorate our table beautifully for our meal to be a success.
This month, I propose that we make an appetizer together: A chestnut cream soup with a slice of pan fried fresh foie gras. This chestnut soup with foie gras will be a perfect companion to your holiday dinners. Light, voluptuous, easy to prepare, it will give a touch of luxury to your menu. I highly recommend it, especially before a nicely stuffed turkey!
In cooking, the chestnut is often used in main course dishes, while sweet chestnuts are rather used for deserts. Often associated with a Christmas turkey, the chestnut’s slightly sweet flavor melds beautifully with duck, pheasant, venison, as well as such vegetables as potatoes. In its sweet version, the chestnut is often associated with chocolate, vanilla, or coffee….
Thanks to Asterix, we know that the chestnut is a Gallic specialty. The sweet chestnut is simply a variety of the chestnut. To be worthy of being designated as a sweet chestnut in France, the chestnut has to yield more than 12% of non-partitioned fruit, have its pit and its brown shell. Like the potato, it is not the chestnut that has a lot of calories, but rather the fatty substances we cook it with. The sugars in chestnuts are slow sugars, which makes it a good candidate for a balanced diet.
The chestnut tree is an old tree. The palentological museum of the Voulte-sur-Rhône has a fossil of this tree that dates back to the Quaternary period. Discovered in 1994 near Privas, this chestnut fossil may be 8.5 Million years old. In the XIIIth Century, humans took the first buds in order to select the varieties that were the most useful. These “bread trees” as they were nicknamed produced 40,000 tons of chestnuts in 1860. The chestnut tree only grows on soil that is acidic and flourishes between 300 and 800 meters of altitude.
In Autumn, the lucky people who have chimneys can grill them after having made an incision in their shell. Tip: For chestnuts to be soft, wrap then in a few sheets of newspaper once they are ready and wait about 10 minutes before you consume them.
At Christmas time, the sweetened chestnut purée is one of the kings of the party. Every amateur knows Clément Faugier (1861-1941). This public roads and bridges engineer built a sweet chestnut purée factory and in 1885, came up with the idea of recycling broken and damaged chestnuts to create a new product that would make him famous: The chestnut cream. The famous company has ads that have a 1900 atmosphere and a laughing logo: Marono.
Recipe for 4 persons:
- 750 g of cooked chestnuts (from a glass jar)
- 200 g of fresh duck foie gras
- 1 onion
- 50 cl of chicken stock
- 30 cl of liquid heavy cream
- 30 cl of milk
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- A few sprigs of cervil
- Ground salt and pepper
- 1 pinch of sugar
Peel the onion and slice it. Heat the olive oil in a large pot and add the onions. Let them melt for 5 minutes while stirring. Without allowing the onions to brown, add the chestnuts.
Pour the stock into the pot, then the milk. Pepper and salt, bring to a boil and then lower the heat and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
Blend the soup with a handheld mixer or in a blender. Add half of the liquid cream and heat up the mixture again slowly. Depending on the consistency, add some milk if it’s too thick and correct the seasoning.
Cut the duck foie gras into slices that are ½ a centimeter thick. Heat a pan at rather high heat without any grease. Salt, pepper and sprinkle the foie gras slices with a pinch of sugar. Place the foie gras slices in your pan and allow to cook for 4 to 5 minutes, then place them on paper towels to absorb any excess grease.
Pour the cream soup into pre-heated bowls or concave plates. Dribble a thin line of cream over the top as well as over the foie gras slices. Add some pepper, the sprigs of cervil, and few chips from the chestnut shells and serve at once.
With this little sentence from Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, I wish you and your families and friends, delightful end of the year holidays, a merry Christmas, and a bit in advance, a happy 2019.
I wish you a delicious meal and hope to see you here again soon.
“Eating for pleasure is an act of judgement, by which we give preference to things that are agreeable to our taste, over those that do not have this quality.”