Hawaii-Style Foie Gras Party

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Contrary to what you might think about this West Coast city, warm, balmy afternoons in San Francisco are rare occurrences. They're often so surprising that figuring out to do with them can sometimes be stressful instead of fun!

Thankfully, my one of good friends from high school Kathy was in town. She told me about some of the summers she used to spend in Brittany, eating soft pieces of foie on the seashore. That sounded so nice! 

So we moved quickly and brought together a group of our other Hawaii friends to assemble something of a cross between memories of a Brittany sea breeze and our Hawaii upbringing (Kathy and I have been obsessed lately with integrating our childhood traditions of food with our adult experiences of the world). A foie afternoon get together would provide an easy way for us to all catch up and talk about our “small kine kid days” without sweating over a hot dinner meal. The big plus: It was pretty much as easy as assembling cheese and crackers for everyone. :-)

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Kathy had procured various fruits and the star—a tender log of pure foie, soft as butter. 

We served the foie gras atop small pieces of my favorite Acme bread.
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We chose two different seasonings. One, with flakes of the English Maldon sea salt (this salt will change the way you think about salt!). A second, with a balsamic reduction that Greg made by patiently warming balsamic vinegar and sugar in a saucepan.

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The foie was heavy and rich. We decided that we also wanted something lighter and brighter and thus the drinks and fruit. Our other Hawaii friends provided various cuts of fruit served the way we grew up eating it on the playground — with a sweet and salty seasoning called Li Hing Mui, created by taking Chinese preserved plum and grind it into a bright red powder.

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What To Drink

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The warm breeze required the right drink pairings. We chose three.

1. To start: Elderflower Spritz

Alcohol is always a nice way cut the fatty flavors of foie, but none of us felt like something too strong. An Elderflower Spritz would be refreshing as it is easy to make. It just took an ounce of St Germain Elderflower liqueur, topped off with cold, bubbly prosecco. I added some summer fruit to spice it up. :-) All those lychee flavors from the St. Germain reminded us of home.

2. For the non-drinkers: Elderflower Soda

Some of our friends don’t like alcohol. That’s OK! For them, we made an elderflower soda by mixing together three-quarters of an ounce of elderflower syrup (no alcohol!) and some Perrier.

3. For the Foie: White Port

My aunty Paula taught me to drink cold, white port on frosty winter days when I lived with her as a recent college grad in Palo Alto. It has a way of rolling on your tongue slow and sweet. It seemed a worthy companion to creamy foie gras. And as it turned out, Kathy had also spent summers drinking white port in France. So it was a done deal. We made Greg bring over a nice cold bottle.

Foie Afternoon

The Star

Foie Gras

Fresh loaf of rustic bread

The Sides

Slices of tropical fruit

Li hing mui powder

To Drink

St Germain Elderflower Liqueur