Makes 1 large sandwich (2 or 3 servings)
1 cup sherry vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 small Spanish onion, sliced into thin rings
1/2 cup kosher (coarse) salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 pound fresh raw foie gras (optional; see note)
2 tablespoons freshly cracked black peppercorns
1 (20- to 24-inch) French baguette
6 tablespoons Pommery or other whole-grain mustard
1/2 pound thinly sliced jambon de francais (French ham; see note)
1/2 pound thinly sliced Gruyere cheese
1/4 pound saucisson (French salami; see note)
1/2 head frisee (curly endive), rinsed and dried (about 6 ounces)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 heirloom tomato, thinly sliced
2 hard-cooked eggs, thinly sliced
1. The day before serving, pickle the onions: Mix the vinegar, sugar and 1 teaspoon salt in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Put the onions in a bowl and cover with the hot liquid. Refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.
2. Cure the foie gras: Mix the kosher salt and cayenne. Coat foie gras with salt mixture and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
3. Rinse off the salt and pat dry. Coat foie gras with the black pepper and refrigerate.
4. To assemble: Split the baguette and spread with the mustard. Layer the ham, Gruyere and salami on the bottom half. In a bowl, toss the frisee with the oil and a pinch of salt. Add the frisee, tomatoes and pickled onions to the sandwich. Top with thin slices of the cured foie gras and the eggs. (To make cutting the foie gras into smooth slices easier, place it in the freezer about 30 minutes before assembling sandwich. Slice with a sharp knife blade heated in boiling water.)
5. Drizzle a little of the pickling juice into the bread, close the sandwich, press lightly, and cut into portions as desired.
- From Georges Perrier, chef/owner of Le Bec-Fin, Philadelphia
Note [from 2003]: French duck foie gras (flash frozen) is sold at the Caviar Assouline shops at Liberty Place, 17th and Chestnut, and at the Reading Terminal Market, 12th and Arch. Fresh North American duck foie gras may be ordered from D'Artagnan, Newark, N.J.
Note [from 2003]: Jambon de francais and saucisson are sold at DiBruno Bros., 930 S. Ninth St. and 109 S. 18th St. (215-665-9220) or online at www.dibruno.com.
Per serving (based on 3 servings): 1,204 calories, 71 grams protein, 97 grams carbohydrates, 41 grams sugar, 60 grams fat, 527 milligrams cholesterol, 7,820 milligrams sodium, 5 milligrams fiber.