HATIKVA CHARCOAL-GRILLED FOIE GRAS with DUCK-PROSCIUTTO-FIG-CARDAMOM JAM and POMEGRANATE GLAZE by Michael Ginor

HATIKVA CHARCOAL-GRILLED FOIE GRAS with DUCK-PROSCIUTTO-FIG-CARDAMOM JAM and POMEGRANATE GLAZE
by Michael Ginor

Hatikva Charcoal Grilled Foie Gras

Having spent my childhood years in Israel, one of the largest foie gras producers and exporters in the world, I was exposed to this delicacy at an early age. Though most of the Israeli-produced livers were exported, the lower grades were consumed by locals in outdoor tavernas in the Hatikva neighborhood of Tel Aviv, where foie gras was cubed, skewered, and charcoal-grilled. Pomegranate and figs, indigenous to the region, provide the sweet acidity necessary to balance the richness of the foie gras. Furthermore, ancient Egyptians fattened geese with plump figs, framing the preparation in a historical context. Duck prosciutto, a natural complement to figs, adds depth and nuttiness. Incorporating cardamom and ginger into the fig jam infuses the dish with an exotic Middle Eastern essence. -Michael Ginor

Yield: 6 MAIN COURSE SERVINGS

FIG JAM - Purchase Duck Prosciutto Online
1 pound fresh figs or 3/4 pound dried, diced
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon ginger, peeled and minced
10 cardamom pods, lightly cracked and tied into a cheesecloth sachet
2 cups port
Juice of 2 lemons
4 ounces duck prosciutto, finely diced
In a small saucepan combine the figs, red onion, ginger, cardamom, anad port and set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning, until the mixture acquires the consistency of a thick jam. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. After the mixture has cooled slightly, discard the cardamom sachet. Stir in the cubed duck prosciutto and set aside.

POMEGRANATE GLAZE
Juice of 3 pomegranates (see Chef Notes)
3 tablespoons sugar
In a small saucepan, combine the pomegranate juice and sugar and reduce the mixture to a glaze, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

GRILLED FOIE GRAS - Purchase Fresh Foie Gras Online
1 pound foie gras, cut into 6 slices, each about 2 and 1/2 ounces and 3/4-inch thick
Coarse salt
Black pepper, freshly ground
Score the foie gras and season with salt and pepper. Grill over charcoal, turning once, cooking the medallions for a scant minute per side, depending on the temperature of the grill. Be prepared to control flare-ups with a water-filled squirt bottle.

GRILLED PITA
1 pita bread
Duck or foie gras fat
3 cardamom pods, toasted and ground
Coarse salt
Black pepper, freshly ground
Brush the pita on both sides with the duck or foie gras fat and season with the cardamom, salt and pepper. Cut the pita into six triangles and grill on both sides.

GARNISH
3 fresh figs quartered
Duck or foie gras fat
6 long chives
Sea salt
Black pepper, freshly cracked
Pomegranate seeds

SERVICE AND GARNISH
Brush half the figs with fat and grill lightly. To serve, set a ring mold in the center of one of six serving plates, spoon in one-sixth of the fig jam, and remove the mold. Place a grilled pita wedge on top of the jam. Balance a grilled foie gras medallion on top of the pita, and place both a grilled and a fresh piece of fig on top of the foie gras. Spppon some of the pomegranate glaze over the foie gras and around the plate. Drizzzle some of the rendered fat around each plate. Garnish with chives, a sprinkle of sea salt, cracked black pepper, and pomegranate seeds.

CHEF NOTES
If you do not wish to make your own duck prosciutto, cured Chinese duck legs (available at Chinese grocers), smoked duck breast, or pork prosciutto may be substituted. Pomegranate syrup, purchase at Middle Eastern specialty stores, may be substituted for the pomegranate glaze. Bring to a boil, but do not reduce before serving. If a charcoal grill is not available, seared foie gras may be substituted.

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT
2-inch ring mold
Charcoal grill