I’ve never been a big fan of apples. I don’t hate them or anything, not like raisins, but I’ve just never been excited about them. I did like those little, red, hard apples from Washington State but that’s pretty much it. In consequence, I don’t know the difference between a cooking apple and an eating apple. Tant pis! The fruit people in the market will tell me. That’s what they’re for. Otherwise it would be a supermarket.
I told the lady at the fruit stand that I wanted to make an apple compote and that I wanted a very firm cooking apple. She said that either Conference or Ariane apples should work but said that she preferred the Arianes. Mainly because they are more expensive, said no fruit seller ever A good sport and because they were pretty, I took the Arianes. The night before, sleepless in Sens, I had two persistent ideas: 1) The mattress on the bed is primitive and I need to buy a featherbed. 2) I should pan fry some foie gras and pair it with apple compote. So that’s why.
Not knowing what to do with myself, instead of the usual toast I decided to make latkes and top them with the foie gras. While I was grating the onion (nerve wracking), I felt an anxiety attack coming on, so I stopped that and minced the onion instead. For anxiety attacks, chew 1/2 valium or eat a big ole latke with apple compote. Your decision.
I like my compote with discernible bits of apple and I think it’s more attractive then dripping, gloopy apple sauce. My husband disagrees. His mother used to make red apple sauce. Just stating a fact.
Foie Gras with Latkes and Apple Compote
4 large apples, peeled, cored and diced
2 tbsp sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2 tbsp butter
6-8 tbsp water
6 medium potatoes, peeled and grated
1/2 onion, grated or minced
Salt and pepper
1 egg, beaten
1 cup peanut oil
4 large lobes of foie gras or 8 small
Bring the apples, sugar, cinnamon stick, butter and water to a boil. Cover, reduce to simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside and keep warm.
Put the grated potatoes in a kitchen towel that you don’t like very much and brutally wring the water from the potatoes. Put the potatoes in a bowl, add the onion, salt, pepper and egg. Mix well.
Heat the oil in a skillet until hot, then add the potatoes in 1/3-1/2 cups, mashing down to form a cake. Cook and brown on both sides, drain on a paper towel and keep warm in the oven.
Briefly sear the foie gras in a hot, dry skillet, about 40 seconds per side.
For each serving, place a latke on the plate, put one or two pieces of foie gras on the latke, then top with the apple compote. Enjoy!
Wine suggestion: Fleurie