A New Year’s Eve Feast à deux

seared foie gras on a pillow of parsnipsI love New Year’s Eve, on condition that I don’t have to go anywhere or celebrate with anyone except my significant other, and provided we can be in bed by latest 10.30 p.m. It’s the perfect pretext for a very private feast for two. This year ours consisted of seared slices of duck foie perched on a pillow of pureed parsnips with slivers of crisp-fried parsnips and a little Balsamic vinegar drizzled round about (gotta have drizzle).

A half-bottle of Mission Hill Riesling ice wine from Canada’s Okanagan Valley from grapes frozen on the vine, pressed frozen with all their concentrated essence and transmuted into a deep golden elixir, provided a serendipitous match: a brilliant backbone of acidity balanced the wine’s natural sweetness and cut across the unctuous richness of the foie and the creamy parsnips.

Serves 2
500g parsnips
Salt and white pepper
250ml whipping cream
4 small slices (200g) foie gras de canard
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Balsamic vinegar
Sprigs of thyme

  • Trim and peel the parsnips. Cut a few thin slices from the tail ends, about the size of small coins (for the garnish) and set them aside
  • Cut the rest in chunks, put them in a saucepan with salt, white pepper and cream
  • Bring to a simmer – be careful they don’t boil over – and simmer for about 15 minutes or until tender when pierced with a skewer
  • Tip the parsnips and cream in to a blender and blend till perfectly smooth, or blend in the pan using a stalk blender
  • Return them to the pan and set aside till ready to reheat.
  • Season the foie on both sides with salt and white pepper
  • When ready to go, reheat the puree gently in the saucepan; heat also 2 plates
  • In a heavy pan (copper or non-stick) heat 1 teaspoon of oil and fry the reserved slivers of parsnip briefly till golden, flipping them over once.
  • Set them aside, wipe out the pan with kitchen paper, get it very hot again (no oil needed) and sear the foie gras slices very briefly (less than 1 minute each side) until golden and lightly crusted, turning them once
  • Spoon out a pillow of puree onto each plate, set the foie gras slices on top, garnish with reserved parsnip slices and sprigs of thyme
  • Drizzle a little Balsamic vinegar around and serve at once with a slice or two of toasted country-style bread

3 thoughts on “A New Year’s Eve Feast à deux

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