If you want to indulge in foie gras, unquestionably a celebratory delight, to see in a new year, 2012 may be your last possibility, at least in California. On July 1, 2012, California Senate Bill 1520 (SB 1520), which forbids the production and sale of foie gras produced by “force-feeding,” goes into effect. If you’re unfamiliar with the issue, Marissa Guggiana does a great job exploring the issue in a recent article in Edible Marina and Sonoma, which you can find here.

Although Artisan Foie Gras is based in Sonoma, the ducks are no longer raised or processed here.

The purpose of this post is not to jump into the controversy–I’ll do that at some point but not now, when I’m relaxing in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and enjoying more quiet than I’ve had in years– but to let you know that you have until Wednesday, December 28, to order foie gras and other related products from Sonoma Artisan Foie Gras for delivery before New Year’s Eve. Just click here to read about their products and make your purchase.

One of my favorite ways to enjoy foie gras is with sautéed apples and a tangy sauce of apple juice, apple cider and black pepper. The recipe first appeared in my book, California Home Cooking, which has recently been reissued by its publisher, Harvard Common Press. The recipe has also appeared in my column Seasonal Pantry, but long before it was archived on press democrat.com. Here it is now, along with a couple of other holiday favorites.

Seared Foie Gras with Sauteed Apple • Serves 6

  • 2 1/2 cups apple juice, preferably Gravenstein
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 to 1/2 Grade A duck foie gras, cut into 6 generous 1/2-inch thick slices
  • Kosher salt or Maldon Salt Flakes
  • Black pepper in a mill
  • 1 or 2 firm tart apples, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch thick lengthwise slices
  1. First, make the sauce: Pour 1 cup of the apple juice into a small saucepan set over medium heat and simmer until the juice has nearly completely evaporated. Add the remaining apple juice, the vinegar and the 1 teaspoon of black pepper and reduce by two-thirds. Remove the sauce from the heat and swirl in 1 tablespoon of the butter, a teaspoon at a time, until it is just incorporated. Set the pan aside; cover and keep warm.
  2. Season the foie gras lightly with salt and pepper.
  3. In a heavy skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of buyer over medium heat and when it is foamy, add half the apple slices and sauté 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the slices over and sauté them 3 to 4 minutes more, until golden brown. Divide the apples among 6 warmed appetizer plates and pour any pan juices over the apples. Wipe the pan dry.
  4. Raise the heat under the pan as high as possible. When the pan is very hot, add 3 slices of foie gras. Sear the foie gras for 30 seconds, turn and sear for 30 seconds more. Working quickly, set a slice on top of the sautéed apples. Pour off any fat that has collected in the pan and cook the remaining 3 slices in the same way.
  5. Spoon sauce over each portion, season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

From the Seasonal Pantry Archives:

Whipped Herb Custard with Caviar

Potted Chicken Livers