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In France, despite the development of pro-animal and anti-French pockets of resistance, consumption of foie gras has doubled over the last ten years. Foie gras is no longer eaten solely at Christmas or at grand occasions as more and more home cooks buy it raw and serve it roasted or pan fried, teamed with meat fish or shellfish.
Make sure your guests are seated, ready to eat, preferably with a glass of chilled Loupiac, Sauternes, Baumes de Venise or Condrieu in hand.
Cut the well-chilled foie gras into 1cm slices (Hugh ‘Fearlessly Eastsitall’ says to freeze it before slicing so that it keeps its shape, but I find that freezing makes it counterproductively mushy), avoiding and removing nerves as you go.
Have your guests’ warmed plates to hand, some freshly prepared toasted bread and a large dish with lots of kitchen paper just by the hob.
Heat a frying pan until it is medium hot – no fat required, of course. Check the heat by dropping in a tiny morsel of foie gras: it should fizz and frazzle instantly. Remove it and wipe the pan clean with kitchen paper before bringing it back to the heat.
Cover as much of your stainable self as possible with something non-stainable, and quickly lay the slices of the of foie gras in the pan. Let them sizzle for about 1 minute, having a peek underneath after about 45 seconds. A thin, dark, caramelised crust should have formed.
Flip them over very carefully (you could drain off excess fat at this stage) and cook for a further 1 minute on the other side.
Set the slices on kitchen paper for a few seconds to absorb any excess fat from the surface and transfer them to the service plates.
Sprinkle with some fleur de sel (indispensable for its less-salty-than-salt taste and crunch) and pepper, and serve with the toasted bread and figs.
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