Yuletide favourites: Christmas spiced foie gras

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By Debbie Yong

The Business Times

Wednesday, Dec 18, 2013

  • Getting into the spirit

    Ryan Clift
    Chef of Tippling Club, which relocates from Dempsey Hill to Tanjong Pagar Road next week

    "Christmas in England is always a big deal, especially in the countryside, as it's nearly always snowing and the farms and village shops all get into the spirit with the produce and decorations. My father would always take me to one of the farms nearby to select our ham and turkey.

    "Christmas dinner was always served late in the afternoon - my mum would start cooking from 4am - it was a tradition that all the men had to get out of the way of all the women cooking, by going down to the pub for a few ales. We would come back just in time to sit down for a massive feast of turkey, ham, duck, roast beef, roasted brussels sprouts, pumpkin and cabbage, roast potatoes with bacon and bread sauce.

    "Dessert was always a chocolate log and a massive Christmas pudding that my grandmother would start preparing months before Christmas. She would add a brand new bottle of brandy to the cake each month, and it would be doused with another bottle and set on fire during Christmas dinner. Dad would then extinguish the flames with a spiced brandy custard, one bowl of it and you had the best afternoon kip in the world.

    "Since I've moved to Singapore, I typically have Christmas dinner at my restaurant - but not for paying customers. I choose to close the restaurant on Christmas day and my sous chef, Paul, and I will cook for all the foreign staff, my family included, and we go crazy. King crab, whole cuts of wagyu, jamon, truffle, foie gras - you name it, we'll have it. We'll also treat ourselves to some really good wines and just have an awesome day."

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  • For the Christmas spice mix
  • 20g allspice
  • 5g star anise
  • 5g clove
  • 7g cinnamon
  • 4g juniper
  • 1g black pepper
  • 0.5g saffron
  • 0.5g salt
  • For the foie gras
  • 4 fresh foie gras, approximately 170g slices
  • Salt and pepper
  • One pinch mixed Christmas spice
  • 4 pieces of 10cm thick slices brioche
  • 100g butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 150g Sosa brand cold confit apple preserve
  • 30 toasted walnuts
  • Herbs to garnish
  • 1. To make the Christmas spice mix, toast all the ingredients lightly in a saute pan over a medium heat, then blend in a spice grinder and keep it in an airtight container. This product lasts for a good six months in a jar somewhere dry (you can also use it to flavour custards or eggnog).
  • 2. Season the foie gras slices with the spice mix. Make sure the saute pan is really hot, and saute the foie until crispy and golden on both sides. Place on a tray in a pre-heated oven at 170 deg C for five minutes.
  • 3. In the meantime, fry the brioche in pan with all the fat left from frying the foie until they are golden. Add the butter at the end for a nutty flavour, and season with some more of the Christmas spice mix and salt. You can also add a little sprinkle of sugar at this stage.
  • 4. Build the foie on top of the brioche. Spoon over a generous dollop of the Sosa cold confit relish and garnish with a sprinkle of Christmas spice and fresh herbs.