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Melted Foie Gras on Country Bread with Armagnac
This fabulous recipe was inspired by an extraordinary restaurant near Baden-Baden, in Germany

Ingredients:
1/4 pound fresh foie gras, chilled until very cold
coarse salt to taste
2 tablespoons duck fat
2 large garlic cloves, smashed into pieces
4 slices country bread (each about 4 inches by 3 inches by 1/2 inch)
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Armagnac

Directions:
1. Run a long, sharp knife under hot water, and shave the foie gras into paper-thin lengthwise slices. Lay the slices, in a single layer, on a platter and sprinkle them liberally with coarse salt. Reserve at room temperature.
2. Melt 1 tablespoon of the duck fat in a small, heavy sauté pan over low heat. Add half the garlic and cook it for 5 minutes. Push the garlic pieces to one side of the pan, and increase the heat to high. Add 2 slices of the country bread and cook them until the undersides are golden brown, about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low. Working quickly, turn the two slices of bread over and top them with half the shaved foie gras slices. (You will probably create a double layer of thin foie gras slices on top of the bread.) Immediately cover the pan, and cook, checking after 30 seconds to make sure the bread is not burning, for about 1 minute, or until the undersides are golden brown. When the bread is done, remove the 2 slices, and top with freshly ground black pepper and a splash of Armagnac.
3. Spill out the fat in the pan, and repeat step 2 with the remaining ingredients.
4. Serve immediately.

This fabulous recipe was inspired by an extraordinary restaurant near Baden-Baden, in Germany. The chef sautéed thick slices of country bread in duck fat, with garlic, then simply melted very thin slices of fresh foie gras over the bread. Though it's astoundingly simple to do, it's a mightily impressive starter for a lusty dinner party. Serves 4 as a first course