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Nov 8, 2010 08:37 AM

Foie Gras - Making a mousse?

Hello all,

This will be my first time ever cooking foie gras, I'm wanting to have it as an appetizer for Thanksgiving. After scouring the Web and some cookbooks, I have found a recipe that calls for it as a mousse on top of some phyllo dough cups. I would prefer to make the mousse myself, but upon perusing the Larousse Gastronomique and several other books, I can't seem to find a recipe that makes a whole lot of sense to me. A lot of the Larousse Gastronomique preparations require an aspic surrounding the foie in a terrine, which to me doesn't sound a whole lot like a mousse when it's finished.

I've found an Emeril recipe, but the foie doesn't seem to be cooked before it's made into the mousse. I've also searched in French and have translated a few recipes but they have also been confusing. I'm really not a stupid person but for some reason I just can't figure all of this out. I don't want to purchase a store-bought foie gras mousse because I prefer to control the ingredients and add my own twist to things. Can anyone clarify for me how I can make a preparation of foie gras that is similar in texture to a pate or potted meat (e.g. for spreading on bread or crackers) and tell me if it is indeed relatively safe to eat the foie without cooking or poaching it first? I don't have qualms about raw eggs or beef, but poultry and offal being raw and undercooked obviously concern me.

Thank you so much in advance, and I hope I made sense in this post! My head's all muddled with how to sort this out.

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  1. the only times i've made foie gras was in a terrine (a la larousse gastronomique), which is a dense pate -- basically the entire lobe (or a portion of the lobe) prepared such that it's squished into a loaf, and sauteed. i have to admit, i've not really seen many recipes for foie gras prepared (at home) in any other way. i've just looked up the emeril recipe and i am absolutely sure that he omitted the fact that the foie gras should be COOKED.

    if i were you, what i would do is a combo duck liver/foie gras mousse recipe. i would make a couple of test runs with chicken or duck liver and find a recipe that i like the best, and then i would do a 60/40 split for foie gras/duck liver. i would saute the foie gras until just pink (as i do the liver) and then proceed as normal. i *just* made some duck liver pate from a pepin recipe on -- it's very good (although i haven't had it chilled yet.... this afternoon!)

    2 Replies
    1. re: melissainbklyn

      Thank you so much for your suggestions, how did your duck liver pate turn out?

      1. re: amitys

        it was delicious -- though my friend and i shouldn't have plowed through it the way we did... i'm sure it's better the next day! i have a touch left for lunch today, though. :)

        good luck with your experiments in goose liver!!

    2. If you are fortunate enough to have a lobe of good foie gras, please don't commit the crime of making it into mousse -- that's what one does with leftover, busted-up bits and pieces that can't be used any other way.

      Try this:

      Or this:

      Or this:

      Foie gras is the ultimate KISS food -- the less you futz with it, the better it is.

      6 Replies
      1. re: sunshine842

        Second this. Save the mousse treatment for a lesser liver (or indeed your leftover foie gras).

        1. re: sunshine842

          If it were just me eating it, I'd totally saute it and eat it with some good beef. I had it that way before and found it fantastic. After looking at those three recipes, the terrine looks good. I just didn't want it covered in aspic and I like that this recipe doesn't do that. Don't get me wrong, that stuff has a place, it just wasn't what I was looking for. I don't have a terrine, but I think a covered Pyrex loaf pan would be a decent alternative. You have been really helpful and thank you for saving me from making what could have been a big, expensive mistake!!!

          1. re: amitys

            it's incredibly easy to do it that way -- and yes, a Pyrex loaf pan would work just fine.

            Just be careful not to cook it *too* long -- otherwise the whole stupid thing melts. (rolls eyes)

            1. re: sunshine842

              Yeah, I watched an episode with Gordon Ramsay saying that it'll melt into a pile of very expensive fat if you're not careful, and thank you so much for the reminder!

              1. re: amitys

                the eye roll was the "not that I'd know anything about that" disclaimer, by the way. What a mess.

                1. re: amitys

                  Sad to report, he is absolutely correct.... (we only lost the edges, thankfully)

          2. If you want a mousse like consistency for your foie gras then first cook it in any of the ways described that you like the sound of best.
            Once cooked (which shouldn't take long) then whip up some cream & mix in the foie gras until you get the consistency you want.
            Voila! Foie gras mousse. Its that simple.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Yank

              Thank you! That's what I was going to do if all else failed, because I didn't think there could be any way that it would be a good idea to eat it raw like dumb old Emeril's recipe!!!

            2. 7 oz foie gras, 1 cup heavy whipping cream

              Cube foie into large dice. Season and let come to room temp. Set up two bowls, one filled with ice, the other on top of the ice. If using a stand mixer to whisk mouse, refrigerate bowl and attachment.

              Heat cream to a simmer with whatever salt and spices you want over high heat. Put foie into blender, and turn on blender. Add hot cream to blender and blend just until smooth. Pour into bowl sitting on ice. Whisk until very cold. Either transfer to stand mixer or continue to whisk by hand until thick and fluffy. Put into pastry bag and pipe prettily on top of your phyllo cups.

              After reading Emeril's recipe, it's almost exactly the same as mine except that my way makes more of a foie gras whipped cream, and Emeril's is a mousse of foie gras.