Give Birds Something to Celebrate With ‘Faux Gras’

Posted on by Ashley Fruno

foie grasLooking for that perfect appetizer that’s as elegant as it is humane? Try this delectable mushroom mousse, which was the winning recipe of PETA US’ Fine Faux Foie Gras Challenge.

Traditional foie gras – which is French for “fatty liver” – is made by force-feeding ducks and geese until their livers become diseased and swell to up to 10 times their normal size.

This mushroom mousse is a decadent treat that can give both guests and geese a reason to celebrate no matter what the occasion. The recipe was devised by acclaimed New York City chef Amanda Cohen, a veteran of the Iron Chef TV show and owner and operator of the hugely popular vegetarian restaurant Dirt Candy. The mousse is a perennial favourite on Dirt Candy’s menu. Diners have described it as “rich, earthy and intense, with a silky texture reminiscent of foie gras” and “cool, smooth and luxurious, like having the inside of your mouth carpeted with cashmere”.

Sounds irresistible, doesn’t it? Whip up a batch for your next gathering and see if your guests aren’t clamouring for more.

Mushroom Mousse
1/4 cup finely diced white onions
1/2 cup vegan margarine
1/2 cup unflavoured soy milk
1 Tbsp agar-agar
3 cups de-gilled and chopped portobello mushrooms
1/8 tsp. truffle oil
1/4 tsp. salt

  • Cook the onions and 1 tablespoonful of the vegan margarine in a medium pot on low* for 15 minutes, or until extremely soft.
  • Add the soy milk and continue to cook for 10 minutes, or until the mixture comes to a boil.
  • Add the rest of the vegan margarine (about 7 tablespoonfuls) and continue to cook for 15 minutes, or until the mixture comes to a boil.
  • Add the agar-agar and whisk until the mixture comes to a boil again, approximately 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and pour into a Vitamix or other high-powered blender and blend until very smooth and creamy.
  • Add the mushrooms, truffle oil, and salt and blend for 2 to 3 more minutes, or until creamy and fully incorporated. If the mixture isn’t silky smooth, pour through a fine mesh sieve or a chinois.
  • Pour into a non-stick silicone cube mould and tap the mould a few times to ensure that the mousse has settled. Pour the excess mousse over the top of the cube mould to make sure that there is no air trapped in any of the compartments and scrape the top to make sure that all the compartments are filled.
  • Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until solid. (Serving suggestion: Spread the portobello mousse on truffled toast made from baguette slices. Place thinly sliced, grilled portobellos on top to give it more texture and add peach and fennel compote for sweetness, if desired.)

Makes approximately 9 servings

* These directions are for preparation on an induction burner set between 1 and 2. If using a gas burner, set the flame as low as possible and keep an eye on the ingredients, as cooking times will likely be much shorter.

Posted by Jason Baker