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Roasted Foie Gras, Espelette Rub and Roasted Figs

Roasted Foie Gras, Espelette Rub and Roasted Figs

Ingredients (serves 6 as a starter)

1 lobe of foie gras

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3 tbp espelette chilli pepper

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½ tsp table salt
1 tsp black pepper
4 figs, quartered but not split entirely
Runny honey for drizzle

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Sliced and toasted brioche bread
Toasted walnuts
Fig jam for serving

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Hay for smoking. You can get this from a pet shop 
Special equipment needed
Cake pan with holes. If you don’t have one, you can use a roasting rack but layer it with tin foil and spike this with a knife to create the holes
Second cake pan or roasting tray 

Method

  1. To make our Roasted Foie Gras, first remove the foie gras from the fridge 25-30 mins before roasting and take it out of the vacuum pack. If your foie gras weighs around 800g +/- you may want to break it in two parts so you have a small and large lobe
  2. Heat your BBQ or oven to 200C 
  3. Mix the espelette chilli pepper, salt and pepper together and rub this mix over the foie gras ensuring the lobes are well covered
  4. Using the larger cake pan, cover it with hay and place the holed cake pan on top. Put the ready seasoned foie gras inside this pan.
  5. Surround the foie gras with the quartered figs and drizzle the figs with honey
  6. Roast for 25-30 mins
  7. While the foie gras is roasting, toast your walnuts and brioche
  8. Check the foie gras. The flesh should be firm to touch and golden brown
  9. When the foie gras is cooked, remove from the BBQ or oven and cover it with tin foil.
  10. Leave to rest for 15 mins. Remember while the foie gras is resting it is still cooking
  11. Serve the foie gras on a large dish and surround it with the roasted figs, toasted walnuts and a dollop of fig jam serving the brioche on the side

I prefer to make this dish on the BBQ which gives it a fantastic smoky quality and flavour but you can replicate this using hay in the oven and still get a wonderful smokiness.

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Chilled Pea and Mint Soup with Keta Salmon Roe (Ikura)

Chilled Pea and Mint Soup

Ingredients (serves 4 as a starter)

1 jar 100g Keta Salmon Roe (Ikura)

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2 tsp good quality olive oil

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500g frozen peas
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
4 bay leaves
250ml chicken or vegetable stock
100ml milk
Small bunch of fresh mint
Fresh dill to serve as a garnish

Method

  1. To make our Chilled Pea and Mint Soup, first heat some olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat
  2. Gentle sweat the onions until they become translucent
  3. Add the stock and bay leaves and bring to the boil
  4. Next, add the peas and simmer for 5 mins
  5. Let the soup cool down and remove the bay leaves. Keep them to one side as you will need them later when plating up
  6. Using a hand blender, blitz your soup into a smooth puree, slowly adding the milk while blending to ensure your soup has a nice creamy texture. If needed, you can add more milk 
  7. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and leave your Chilled Pea and Mint Soup to chill overnight in the fridge
  8. When ready to serve, chop the mint leaving a few nice leaves for decoration
  9. Mix the chopped mint into your soup and serve in soup bowls
  10. Gently spoon the Keta onto the bay leaves. Place them at the last minute in the middle of your soup bowl so they float and garnish with extra mint leaves and dill for an additional burst of flavour

This vibrant and tasty summer soup is one you can prepare in advance and is always a sure fire winner!

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Shredded Duck Confit Soup

Shredded Duck Confit Soup

Ingredients (serves 4)

2 Duck Leg Confit ready cooked (1 pack)

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2 medium carrot cut in small cubes
2 celery stick cut in similar sizes as your carrot
1 bay leaf
1 large white onion finely chopped 
2 whole garlic cloves 
Baby zucchini or asparagus (whichever you like and in the season) not cooked 
1.5 litre chicken stock (you can use stock pot or cubes)
Rice noodles (cook it upfront following the instruction on the packet) 
Freshly chopped parsley or coriander to finish

Method

  1. To make this Shredded Duck Confit Soup, first place the vacuum-packed duck leg confit in a warm water bath for half an hour. This will melt the duck fat around the legs. And it will be easier to remove from the packet.
  2. Cut the pack open and pour the duck fat in a bowl. Save it for your roast potatoes.
  3. Remove the skin from the duck legs if you don’t want it in the soup and set it to one side. Use it in a stir fry or with fired rice.
  4. Shred the duck meat using a spoon and fork and gently warm it in a frying pan. This process will melt the remaining fat and keeps the meat nice and juicy.
  5. Gently saute the onion, garlic and bay leaf on a low heat using a teaspoon of duck fat for a few mins and then add the stock.
  6. Bring the stock to the boil and add the carrots and cook for 3 mins. Then add the celery and cook for a further 10 min. Or until your veggies are cooked to your liking. I like mine with a bit of a bite but not crunchy.
  7. Taste before you season as some shop bought stock can be quite salty.
  8. Divide the ready cooked noodles into bowls. Add the shredded duck, sliced baby zucchini and pour the boiling hot soup over the top.
  9. Sprinkle your Shredded Duck Confit Soup with chopped parsley, serve and enjoy.
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Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Ingredients (serves 4)

A jar of good quality chickpeas Drain and keep the juice to one side as you will need it later

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Half a jar of roasted red peppers 

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Chilli Oil (optional)

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Good Quality Olive Oil

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1 lemon, juice only
2 medium garlic cloves
1 tbsp tahini
Salt and pepper to season

Method

  1. Roasted Red Pepper Hummus is so easy to make. Simply place all the ingredients in a blender and blend adding olive oil to loosen.
  2. Blend until smooth. If needed, add a small amount of the chickpea juice but do so gradually as you don’t want to turn it into soup.
  3. At this point, add a drizzle of chilli oil, lemon juice and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  4. Blend for another min and taste.
  5. Adjust seasoning as needed and chill for 20 min.
  6. Serve your Roasted Red Pepper Hummus with a drizzle of chilli oil for that extra kick.
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Rolled Foie Gras Piquillo Peppers

Rolled Foie Gras and Piquillo Peppers

Ingredients (serves 4)

Lobe of Fresh Duck Foie Gras

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1 Jar Piquillo Peppers: Wood Roasted with Garlic 290g

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Pure White Sea Salt
Espelette Pepper

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Method

  1. To make Rolled Foie Gras Piquillo Peppers, first you need to devein the foie gras. Divide into two long pieces and season with Salt and Espelette Pepper.
  2. Place one half of foie gras lengthways on a sheet of clingfilm then lay the piquillos on top, trimmed to fit. Top with the rest of the foie gras and roll up in the clingfilm, twisting the ends like a sausage.
  3. Put a large pan of water on the boil. Lay the clingfilmed sausage in a steamer basket and steam for about 10 minutes over a medium heat.
  4. Then remove the roll, cool on a plate and pierce true the clingfilm a few times to release the fatty juices. These you should gather into a small jug.
  5. Chill the roll until firm, then unwrap your Rolled Foie Gras Piquillo Peppers. Serve in slices with the reserved juices brushed over each slice.

Make’s a perfect starter for your dinner party…

Buy the entire recipe collection “Cuisinier Gascon” by Chef Pascal Aussignac

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Scallops with Spicy Chorizo and Piquillo Pepper

Scallops with Spicy Chorizo and Piquillo Pepper

Ingredients (serves 4)

Fresh Scallops 2 per person
Spicy Artisan Chorizo (Chorizo Sarta Picante) 300g

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Piquillo Peppers: Wood Roasted with Garlic 290g

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Hot Spanish Smoked Paprika 70g

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Olive wood board to present

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Method

  1. First pat dry your fresh scallops and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Slice the chorizo and the piquillo pepper into long strips.
  3. Pan fry the scallops and spicy chorizo at the same time. It should take about 1-1.5 mins on each side or until golden brown.
  4. Thread the skewers through the piquillo pepper, the scallops and finally the spicy chorizo just as in the picture.
  5. Present the skewers on the olive wood board and if you want to get them “smoking hot”, sprinkle over a good pinch of Hot Spanish Smoked Paprika.

These make a delicious appetizer or snack…

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Foie Gras Popcorn

Ingredients (serves 4)

Lobe of Duck Foie Gras

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Incanto Olive Oil

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Pure White Sea Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 Fresh Corn Cobs
1 Garlic Clove
2 teaspoons Mascarpone Cheese
2 tablespoons Caster Sugar
8 Baby Corns, slit in half

Method

  1. To make Foie Gras Popcorn, first you must de-vein the foie gras. Then lightly drizzle with some olive oil and season lightly.
  2. Wrap in foil and chill until ready to serve.
  3. Strip the kernels off the three fresh cobs and set them aside. Keep the denuded cobs and dry them in a low oven for about an hour.
  4. To make the corn sauce, put 150 ml of water into a saucepan. Add a third of the sweetcorn kernels, 2 tablespoons olive oil, the garlic and some salt and pepper. Simmer for about 8 minutes then remove from the heat and tip into a blender. Whizz until smooth.
  5. Pour the mixture into a sieve placed over a bowl. Rub the mixture through with the back of a ladle. Return the mixture to the pan, mix in the mascarpone and check the seasoning. Keep warm.
  6. Now place the dried corn cobs in the base of a wok or over barbecue coals and heat until they start to smoke.
  7. Put the foil parcels of foie gras on a rack on top of the wok or barbecue, cover and cook for 10 mins. Set aside for 10 mins to cool, still in the foil.
  8. In the meantime, heat a large frying pan until hot and scatter in the remaining corn kernels. Sprinkle with the sugar and shake the pan over a medium heat, cooking the kernels until they are coated in the sugar and beginning to caramelise. Tip out into a bowl to cool.
  9. Unwrap the foie gras then cut in thick slices. Pan-fry in another hot non-stick frying pan for about 2 minutes until lightly golden on each side. Keep warm whilst you quickly toss in the baby corn to heat in the same pan fat.
  10. Serve the foie gras with the warmed sauce, small baby corns and caramelised ‘popcorn’ alongside. Et viola, Foie Gras Popcorn!

Buy the entire recipe collection Cuisinier Gascon by Chef Pascal Aussignac.

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Seared Scallops with Oscietra Caviar

Seared Scallops with Osetra Malossol Caviar

Ingredients (serves 4)

400g fresh Sea Scallops or two per person
Oscietra Caviar 30g

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White Truffle Oil

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Extra Virgin Olive Oil 55ml
2 Baby Courgettes
2 Shallots peeled and finely chopped
1 small cup of Sour Cream
1 small cup of Vegetable Stock
100ml White Wine Vinegar
Few sprigs of Dill and Micro Salad Leaves

Method

  1. To make this wonderful seared scallops dish, first use a speed-peeler to peel the courgettes in long ribbons, add the white wine vinegar, pinch of salt and white pepper. Let it sit on the side for 5 minutes.
  2. Pat dry the scallops with paper towel and sear them each side in a hot pan for about 1 minute or until golden.
  3. Remove the scallops from the pan and add the chopped shallots. Sauté over medium heat or until golden brown for about 6 minutes.
  4. Pour the stock, the juice released from the courgettes and the white wine vinegar over the shallots and reduce the juice to half. Whilst reducing you can start placing the courgettes in such a way that allows the scallops to sit on top of the courgettes.
  5. Pour the sauce over the courgettes, add the seared scallops and a teaspoon of sour cream next to the scallops.
  6. Now be generous with the Oscietra Caviar to impress your guests and add a few drops of White Truffle Oil to finish your work of art.
  7. Season with sea salt and garnish with fresh herbs.
  8. Champagne please.