Plated + Served: Inquiring Minds Want To Know…


Absolutely amazed at how many of y’all have asked for the French Laundry Cookbook recipe Carlos and I put together a few weeks ago… foie gras… lobster… port wine. Guess the economy IS improving.

Happy days are here again! (C’mon, I can hope, can’t I?)

Coincidently, last week the 2012 Michelin Guide to the “San Francisco, Bay Area and Wine Country” once again gave three stars to the Thomas Keller restaurant. The French Laundry has garnered three stars every year since 2007, the first year the Bay Area Guide was published.

I know you’ve heard about “Michelin Stars”… but do you know how they work? The Michelin star is basically the universal standard for determining the best of the best in fine dining, here and abroad. Michelin publishes three U.S. guides, to Chicago, San Francisco and New York City. Internationally, 27 Michelin guides cover 23 countries and three continents, featuring more than 45,000 restaurants. All of the restaurants are visited anonymously.

Mama would sooooo love that job.

This recipe requires great ingredients and a lot of prep. This is an “investment” recipe… it costs quite a bit of time and money to make, but the payoff is memorable. My only suggestion: Don’t take shortcuts. If you’re going to cook Keller… Cook Keller! Do everything to the best of your ability. And if you mess up… hey, it’ll still be delicious.

After all… how can you go wrong with foie gras and lobster?

Five-Spiced Roasted Maine Lobster with Port-Poached Figs and Sautéed Moulard Duck Foie Gras

Chef Keller’s French Laundry Cookbook book says: “No portion of this book my (sic) be reproduced—mechanically, electronically, or by any means, including photocopying—without written permission of the publisher.”

The publisher wouldn’t give Mama permission, and I respect that, so I’m going to give you a rough idea of what Carlos and I did to pull this tres magnifique dish together. For the precise ingredient amounts and the exact technique, go to the library and write down the recipe… or buy the book (regularly $50, but only $26.50 at It’s a fabulous book just to look at, even if you don’t make a single recipe in it!

These are all the ingredients you’ll need:

Black Mission Figs, port wine, ground coffee beans, bittersweet chocolate, butter (lots and lots of it), shallots, chives, chicken stock (make your own or buy it fresh or frozen… no canned or boxed!), kosher salt, lobster meat, Chef’s Keller’s Squab Spice (he gives you the recipe to make this), foie gras, black pepper and a special gray salt (which you can find at specialty spice stores).

Carlos and I divided the duties and worked out a game plan for pulling everything together. You may want to enlist some help… I’ve found it’s a lot easier (and more fun).

1. Prep the figs and poach them in the port. Put some of the figs, coffee and chocolate in a blender… add the port from the pan and blend some more. Strain the mixture into a saucepan.

2. Dust the lobster meat with Chef Keller’s Squab Spice and salt and cover with melted butter. Heat it on top of the stove for a bit and then put it in the oven.

3. Cook the foie gras quickly in a very hot pan.

4. Spoon some warm fig sauce onto the plates. Build a little tower on each plate: one of the leftover figs, some lobster, more butter and then the foie gras. Top with the chives and fancy gray salt.

Chef Keller in four easy steps! See, that wasn’t so hard…

Five Spiced and Roasted Main Lobster with Port-Poached Figs and Sautéed Moulard Duck Foie Gras


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posted under Plated + Served

3 thoughts on “Plated + Served: Inquiring Minds Want To Know…

    1. Mama Post author

      About 2 hours… but we didn’t make the Chicken Stock, we bought it from my butcher. We divided up the duties… so that helped!

  1. Pingback: Mama's High Strung™ » Blog Archive » The Kitchen Think: Foie Gras Farewell

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I’m Christina Chavez

I was a TV journalist for many years, but with a house full of kids I decided to come off the road, go to culinary school and follow my passion for cooking. Mama’s High Strung is all about food… everything from creative recipe ideas to some really cool kitchen gadgets and cooking tips. I live in Chicago, but I love to travel and write about my food discoveries! You can reach me by email: