Saturday, June 28, 2008

Mmm...Canada: Foie Gras Sushi

The Perfect Balance of Flavors in Foie Gras Sushi: Nori, Sushi Rice, Red Anjou Pear, Seared Quebec Foie Gras, Reduction of Ice Cider, Wasabi, and Pickled Ginger

How do you define Canadian Cuisine? Is there one dish that sums it up? A half a dozen? I think not. Every province has its different specialty item from the Pine mushrooms in British Columbia to the seafood of Atlantic Canada.
Canadian cuisine means something different to everyone be they Ukrainian-Canadian, Italian-Canadian, French-Canadian or other. Our beautiful country is such a colorful melting pot of different cultures; stretching from ocean to ocean, with a vast majority of food products.

When Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict emailed me and asked me to participate in Mmm...Canada, her blogging event for Canada Day (July 1) I couldn't refuse. I usually don't participate in online events (read: never) for a few reasons, but mostly because deadlines and babies just don't mix well!
However, I was excited to celebrate our nation in a culinary way and didn't have to think twice about what I wanted to make.

If you've been reading this blog for a while you've probably noticed that I throw around the word 'favorite' quite a bit; however, this dish is, without question, one of my top five favorite things to eat in the world. Period. I find it also well represents Canadian modern fusion cuisine by taking a Japanese dish and using local ingredients such as Quebec foie gras and ice cider and highlighting them in this unique twist on classic sushi.

As I said before, deadlines and babies mix like oil and water and I am down to the wire on this one. Not a good start! So there is no way you are getting a recipe today and I hope you are not looking for a detailed look at how to make sushi rice! (I'm still mastering that one).
Despite a case of Red Rave and oceans of coffee, the late nights staying up talking with my parents (not to mention the Jazz Festival) and the early morning awakenings of the babies are taking their toll and my brain is fuzzy. My apologies for the awkwardness of this post!

Still I am so excited to show you the components of this dish I recently made for some friends, so here's a quick look at how the recipe comes together.

An entire 375 ml bottle of Michel Jodoin ice cider is reduced and mixed with a little soya and sugar for the glaze on this sushi. This ciderie is located approximately 40 kilometers from my home; it's hard to get more local than that!
The foie gras is from Palmex who are practically a household name to anyone who has worked in the fine dining industry in Quebec.

Here are the humble beginnings of the foie gras sushi:
a quarter of a sheet of nori, a generous smear of wasabi, a handful of sushi rice and some ripe pear. If pears grow locally, use your own; ours are not in season yet.

The foie gras is seared, placed on the pear and generously topped with the ice cider glaze.

Then you add some pickled ginger, fold up the two sides of nori like a bun and scarf it like a hot dog. No nibbling allowed! It's a bit messy, but should be eaten in about two bites so you get all the flavors in your mouth at the same time. You will not soon forget the combination of the warm saltiness and richness of the foie gras paired with the tart ice cider, the sweet pear, the heat of the wasabi, and the pickled crunch of the ginger.

Oh. Mama.
Mmm, Canada!

All credits go to top Montreal chef Philippe de Vienne for this 'out of this world' recipe. Thanks for letting me pick your brain for the details and for coming up with it in the first place.

If you have any questions about quantities or preparation for this recipe, feel free to drop me an email and I will do my best to answer!

Enjoy your upcoming Canada Day on Tuesday!
Oh, one more thing. July 1 is also the Birthday of the love of my life, Danny!

Happy 30th, sweetie!
I love you!!

OK, someone cut me off of the Red Rave.


Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Wow! Looks REALLY good.

Happy birthday to your old man. Though not so old!!

eatingclubvancouver_js said...

Inspired and decadent -- and certainly looks delicious!

Great taste of Canada entry!

Peter M said...

Aimee, you evil, evil girl...awesome appetizer and did you get a French manicure just for this photo opp? lol

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Hey, your sweetie's birthday is the day after mine!

I hear you on baby's not cooperating with schedules. It's impossible for the first 2 years to plan anything, unless you have a really good napper.

jasmine said...

What a great flavour combination--am intrigued by the ice cider.

So honoured you participated--thanks so much :)


Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Beautiful and unusual! Happy Canada Day!

Emily said...

Happy Birthday Danny!!

You're brilliant - I just loved this post. And I would eat this. What else is there to say?

Anonymous said...

Wow, that looks amazing! Happy Canada Day

LyB said...

Wow, the flavor combinations must be spectacular! Happy Canada Day and Happy Birthday to your sweetie! :)

Liliana said...

I love fois gras altough I don't eat often. What an original way to serve it! Wonderful!

Happy Canada Day to you too!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

This makes a very decadent treat:D

David Hall said...

Drooooooollll!!! Bleedin' delicious!


Aimée said...

Hi Amanda- 30 sounds a little scary, but not that old, really.

Hi js- Merci! We love decadent!

Hi Peter- Lol. I'm not really the manicured nail type...that was for a wedding, but thanks for noticing!

Hi Lynn- Happy birthday to you, too!

Hi Jasmine- Thanks for the extra push to get me involved!

Hi Lydia- Thank you! I lucked out on a decent photo for that chaotic dinner party!

Hi emiline- You would probably really love this.

Hi frutto- Welcome to UtHC! Thanks for stopping by.

Hi lyb- Let me tell you, it's rare to find a flavor combo as good as this! Thanks for the BD wishes.

Hi liliana- Thank you for your kind comment! You'll have to give this recipe a try if you love foie gras.

Hi Valli- Yes, I max out after about three of these. They are very rich.

Hi David- Thanks. :)

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Try 37! It's the wrong side of 30 and a bit too close to 40...

Anonymous said...

That is truly like heaven.


Aimée said...

Hi Amanda- I think 37 is still technically 'Mid-30s'. Not so bad.

Hi Kim- You tried it! You rock! Amazing, eh?

Unknown said...

Anonymous said...

whoa. just...whoa.

i've never heard of ice cider before, but that glaze looks and sounds amazing. i want to track some down. although i'll probably use it on something much more mundane, like prok chops.

Anonymous said...

Looks nasty.

Lan@D liche said...

Looks delish! I would love to try one day :)

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