Foie with fried fava bean cake in an Amarone reduction 

I remember exactly where I was the first time that I heard of the The Silence of the Lambs. I was six years old and in the pool in Houston, Texas with my Uncle Bob. He was, well, the kind of guy who tells a six year old about The Silence of the Lambs. I don’t think I slept for at least a week.

I’m not a huge fan of Chianti, but I love Amarone. And the fact that Dr Lecter washes down his victim’s liver with Amarone shows he knows about flavour profiles. The same can’t be said of the screenplay writers. If it ain’t broken don’t fix it, bro.

Human liver is obviously out, so I chose foie gras for its richness and versatility. Foie gras just means ‘fatty liver’ in French. It’s a controversial ingredient, I know – we’re a family of animal lovers, so use the humane foie.

I also wanted to do something special with the fava beans, so I came up with two options. When I cook with special seasonal ingredients, I like to use them with other ingredients from that season. So for the first recipe, I showcase fava beans with spring onion and spring garlic in a fried cake.

For the second recipe, I know Lecter spends time in Florence, and I’m always looking for an excuse to make a new pesto, so boom, foie with fava bean pesto.

For both versions, the foie is seared in butter, and I simply reduced the Amarone; the sweetness of the wine cuts the fattiness of the foie.

Lecter has deep pockets, so this isn’t a cheap recipe. But do yourself a favor and buy two bottles of the Amarone. You’ll thank me.

Foie with fava bean pesto in an Amarone reduction

 

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FOIE WITH FAVA BEAN CAKES IN AN AMARONE REDUCTION

Servings 6
Author Eric

Ingredients

  • 6 pieces sliced foie
  • 750 ml bottle of Amarone
  • 14 g cornstarch incorporated into a little cold water
  • 14 g olive oil
  • 25 g spring onion
  • 25 g spring garlic
  • 300 g fava beans
  • .4 g grams cumin
  • splash of lemon juice
  • canola oil for frying
  • flour for dredging
  • Panko for breading
  • salt and pepper

For butter glaze

  • 25 g blanched fava beans
  • 5 g butter
  • splash of water
  • 3 leaves fresh mint thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Start reducing one bottle of Amarone. Reduce it by 2/3 and then add slurry to it. Simmer 5 mins until it thickens and you cook the starch out.
  2. Slowly Sautée spring onion and garlic in olive oil season with salt.

  3. Blanch and shock fava beans.
  4. When onion and garlic are fully cooked, add all but 25 grams of the fava beans and cook for another minute.

  5. Put everything in food processor, add lemon juice, cumin and blend.
  6. Season with salt and red pepper flakes.
  7. Cool.
  8. Next form balls with the fava bean mixture and work into patties.
  9. Now set up a breading station: put flour in a bowl; crack eggs into a bowl and beat them; put Panko in a bowl.

  10. Next start the breading process: dredge the fava bean cakes in flour; dip in egg wash; and coat in Panko.

  11. Fry* until golden brown, salt as soon as patties come out of the frier**
  12. When the wine reduction and fava bean cakes are finished, season the foie slices with salt and pepper and sear in a dry warm pan, add butter and baste until tender to touch. Rest.

  13. Butter glaze the reserved fava beans by putting a splash of water in a sauce pan. As it starts boiling and evaporating add your fava beans and butter. Remove from heat and swirl the butter until emulsified. Be careful not to break the butter if this happens as a drop of water and swirl the pan until it incorporates and comes back together. Finish with mint.

  14. Plate foie on top of cakes with the butter glazed fava beans and Amarone reduction around the edges. 

Recipe Notes

*If you don't want to deep fry the patties you can do a shallow fry in a sautee pan with oil half way up the patty. **Anytime something is fried we season it as soon as it comes out of the frier.

 

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FOIE WITH FAVA BEAN PESTO IN AN AMARONE REDUCTION

Servings 6
Author Eric

Ingredients

  • 750 ml bottle of Amarone
  • 6 pieces sliced foie
  • 14 g cornstarch incorporated into a little cold water
  • 75 g butter
  • 250 g fava beans
  • splash of lemon juice
  • 90 g water
  • 225 g olive oil
  • 1 Thai chilli with seeds
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper

For butter glaze

  • 25 g blanched fava beans
  • 5 g butter
  • Splash of water
  • 3 leaves fresh mint thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Start reducing one bottle of Amarone. Reduce it by 2/3 and then add slurry to it. Simmer 5 mins until it thickens and you cook the starch out.
  3. Shell and then blanch the fava beans.
  4. Shock in ice water and peel.
  5. Add all but 25g of the fava beans, along with the garlic, Thai chilli pepper with its seeds, lemon juice and water to a mortle and pestle and incorporate.

  6. When the pesto starts to become smooth, slowly drizzle in the olive oil, add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. When the pesto and wine reduction are finished, season the foie slices with salt and pepper and sear in a dry warm pan, add butter and baste until tender to touch. Bottom line: do not overcook the foie!

  8. Let the foie rest while you plate the rest of the components.

  9. Butter glaze the reserved fava beans by putting a splash of water in a sauce pan. As it starts boiling and evaporating add your fava beans and butter. Remove from heat and swirl the butter until emulsified. Be careful not to break the butter if this happens as a drop of water and swirl the pan until it incorporates and comes back together. Finish with mint.

  10. Plate with a dollop of the pesto, the foie in the middle and a small taste of the reduction on the side.

Recipe Notes