Tuesday, July 21, 2009

foie de veau…approach with abandon…

"Cooking is like love - it should be approached with abandon." ~ Julia Child

I am sorry to be so absent once again…this time it was not at all my choice.
My computer decided to act up and be dead for a few days after several power outages to my area.
Hopefully, now all my computer woes are under control for the time being.
I have had a lot of time to cook, write and read and re-read some fave books.

In anticipation of the August 7th release of the movie “Julie and Julia”, I decided to re-read both books on which the movie was based on two books, Julie and Julia and My Life in France.

These books have both touched and encourage me so much when I first read them in 2006, I wanted to read them again before I saw the movie. For those of you have not seen it, here it the trailer for Julie & Julia: The Movie.

As I sailed through my re-read of Julie and Julia , an entry on page 220 stopped me cold and made me very hungry for a taste of France that Julia did so well…it was when Julie Powell described the results of Julia’s recipe for Foie de Veau à la Moutarde. Julie writes “The crunch of the mustard-spiked crust somehow brings the unctuous smooth richness of the liver into sharp relief. It is like the silky soul of steak.”

I was seduced by Julie’s delicious description, and my food memory of the Foie de Veau that I had eaten at Brasserie Le Grillardin in Paris was suddenly wide wake and begging for another taste of this dish.

As Julia has said…"For land’s sakes, go and cook, girl.”

At that point, I really had no choice but to visit my favorite butcher this afternoon for some liver. He was more than happy to carve a few lovely ½” slices of the calf’s livers that just arrived this morning. In 15 minutes I happily driving back home, humming an Edith Piaf tune and mentally going over the recipe for Foie de Veau à la Moutarde from page 407 of my well-warn copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I also was thinking of what I needed to go to adapt Julia’s recipe a bit so that it was gluten-free.

Foie de Veau à la Moutarde
Calves liver encrusted with mustard, herbs and bread crumbs ~ recipe from
Mastering the Art of French Cooking

Julia writes:

“This is an appealing way to prepare liver. It is sautéed very briefly to brown lightly, then painted with mustard, herbes, rolled in fresh bread crumbs, basted with melted butter and set under a hot broiler to brown the crumbs.

The preliminary sautéing and crumbing may be done several hours in advance of the final cooking, which takes about 5 minutes. For this recipe, the liver is sliced thicker so it will not cook too quickly.”


3 slices of Calf’s Liver cut ½” thick, outside filament removed

kosher Salt

freshly ground White Pepper

½ cup flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Flour)

2 tbsps Butter

1 tbsp Oil (I used Grape Seed oil)

2 tbsps Dijon Mustard

1 tbsp finely minced shallots

2 tbsp finely minced parsley

freshly ground White Pepper

2 cups fine bread crumbs (I made mine from Whole Foods Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread

A heavy skillet

Serves 3

Season the liver with salt and pepper, dredge in flour, and sautée for 1 minute on each side in very hot Oil and 1 tbsp of the Butter. The slices should be very lightly browned and slightly stiffened, but not cooked through. Remove to a dish.

In a small bowl, beat the mustard with the shallots, parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Drop by drop, slowly beat in the liver sautéing fat to make a mayonnaise like cream.
Paint the liver slices with this mixture.

One by one, lay the liver slices in the bread crumbs, pat the adhering crumbs in place and shake off the excess. Transfer liver slices on a plate and refrigerate until ready to serve. I find that this step helps the crust set up and it adheres better through the cooking process.

For service, heat broiler to 500 degrees.
Arrange liver slices on the broiler pan.
Baste them with melted butter.
Place the pan so that it is 2 inches from the broiler heat and brown for a minute or two.
Turn the slices, baste with butter and brown the other side, about 1 minute.

Transfer to a heated platter and serve.

I plated my finished Foie de Veau à la Moutarde on a bed of the French lettuces and a julienne of my newly ripened grape tomatoes that I sprinkled with a touch of homemade sweet Tarragon Vinaigrette.

I agree with every word of Julie Powell’s description.
And for me it was a taste of heaven…a taste of France…
Insert Julia’s voice here…Bon appetit…!


Dedene said...

Only you could make me love Foie de Veau! You should be featured in the movie with Meryl!

Hope all is well with you!

sue said...

Oh, fabulous! I, too, am looking forward to Meryl as Julia. Should be fun. Julia Child just seemed such a delightful, fascinating woman to me. Your photos are beautiful, Terrie! This recipe sounds good!

jeanette, mistress of longears said...

There are a few people I never knew but I miss so dearly...Julia is one and Erma Bombeck is another. I can hardly wait to see the movie..but have not read the book..must remedy that! I loved Julia's book on her years in France. Your presentation is mouth-wateringly wonderful!

feasting-on-pixels (terrie) said...

Merci mille fois Dedene, Sue and Jeanette...I do so appreciate your comments and visits and that you love Julia Child as much as I do.

I am so very much looking forward to this movie as it comes out on the day my blog is one year old.
What a great gift from Julia and a great inspiration to follow my passion for food and food photography...I am sure Julia would approve.

It is so very nice you appreciate all the time and love and care that I take to bring each blog post to you...you are all too kind.

Peter said...

Foie de veau like this, yes please! :-)