Sea Salt-Cured Foie Gras at Le Cafe Pop

In spite of the controversy surrounding foie gras, (it was banned in Chicago from 2006 to 2008), there is no arguing the taste of this French delicacy. Directly translated as "fat liver," it's made from the liver of a duck or goose that has been specially fattened, typically through force feeding with corn.

You've probably seen it as an add-on to your steak at Meat Market or Prime One Twelve. Some restaurants serve this luscious luxury as a mousse, parfait or pate, all traditionally baked or steamed to get that buttery rich flavor and consistency.

Ever had salt-cured foie gras? It's similar salmon/gravlax. Valerie Poirot, chef and owner of Le Cafe Pop in Coconut Grove, brings this novel dish from Bordeaux to the little bistro she now runs with her husband, Gil, on this side of the Atlantic.  The preparation is simple; fresh foie gras is covered in her signature spices, covered in sea salt, and then "cooked" for 8 hours or so. The result is nothing short of sublime.

A very gracious Valerie placed a plate of her homemade duck foie gras pate ($15/$24) in front of us. The velvety smooth slivers of peppery and buttery liver came with an onion compote and the thin slices simply melted onto the toasted country bread served alongside it. After the first bite we opted to use the fork and eat it straight....C'est magnifique!

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