The Food and Wine Hedonist

leave your inhibitions at the door


The Sicilian had a little shindig right before Christmas to celebrate the grand opening of their newly-finished basement, dubbed “the parent cave.”  I knew it was going to be beautiful, but I had no idea it was going to be THAT awesome.  I mean, a to-scale replica of the Playboy Mansion Grotto complete with small army of bikini-clad hangers-on?  They really outdid themselves.

It being the holiday season, we decided to dress up for the event –

Ugly Sweaters *

Here’s  a close-up of mine.

ugly sweater close


I don’t know what I liked better, the teddy bear with backwards bow or the cute kitten admiring it.  No wait – it was the little red hearts on the faux turtleneck.   The invitation to the party did say to “dress up if you want to.”  I guess she was talking about dressing nicely.  Good thing I didn’t wear that Batman costume.

Since I was in that kind of mood, I decided to try to re-create a really fun dish from Graham Elliott – Foie-llipops.  He’s a Chicago-based chef who’s become pretty famous nationally as one of the judges on Gordon Ramsay’s Master Chef show.  As a huge fan of  music, he’s served as curator for the food court at Lollapalooza every year.

Back Camera


Using his local influence, he was able to lure some of the better restaurants to the concert festival.  So, instead of the usual fare of burgers, hot dogs, and pizza, we had Bonsoitee’s sea scallop with torched ponzu aioli, The Gage’s Scotch Egg, and Elliot’s Lobster Corndog.  More on those here and here

I had the Foie-llipops at his eponymous restaurant in Chicago a few years ago.   They are lollipops made from foie gras mousse and crusted with Pop Rocks.  You read that right – they’re crusted with that sugary candy that literally pops in your mouth.  It’s definitely gimmicky, but it’s pretty logical if you think about it.  The classic wine pairing with the rich, buttery, earthy flavors of the foie gras is Sauternes.  The bright acidity, silky texture, and sweetness of the wine compliments the foie perfectly. Here, the Pop Rocks add sweetness, acidity, and texture to the lollipops.  Ok, the fizzling’s a little unexpected, but it really does work well.


How to Make Them

I saw him make them once when one of those Travel Channel shows – either Anthony Bourdain’s or Andrew Zimmern’s – was going through Chicago.  It seemed pretty simple enough.  That is, assuming you know how to make foie gras mousse.  I don’t have a clue on how to make it so it didn’t make sense to spend a lot of money on real foie gras.  Plus I was running out of time.  Instead I picked up some prepared mousse from Morgan & York, a specialty wine and food market here in Ann Arbor.

1 pound of foie gras mousse

2-3 packs of Pop Rocks

Lollipop sticks

 Foie 1


1. Place the mousse on a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a log.  Twist the ends of it to condense the log.

Foie 2


2. Then put it in the freezer for about 10 minutes so it gets a little stiffer.  This will make it easier to work with.

3. Spread out the Pop Rocks on a work surface, then unwrap the mousse log.  Quickly roll the log in the Pop Rocks, applying slight pressure so that they adhere to the mousse.

4. Slice into quarter-inch rounds and insert a lollipop stick into the side of each.

 Foie 3




Wine Pairing

The classic pairing is Sauternes, but I forgot to pick some up while I was getting the mousse. I didn’t feel like driving back so I figured I’d just skip the pairing.  I had to stop by the big box grocery store to pick some lollipop sticks and noticed that they were sampling some Vidal icewine from Jackson-Triggs in Canada’s Niagara wine country.

Jackson Triggs Vidal


I’ve had their wines before – both here and at the winery itself. – and the little sample was as good as I remember it.  The texture was luscious and silky with terrific aromas of apricot and mango. It was very fruity with nice acidity and sweetness.  It usually goes for about $40 for a 375 mL bottle.  This was on sale for $20 and I quickly relieved the nice lady of her last two bottles – one of which she was about to open for more samples.  Score!!


Have you ever had foie-llipops?  Was this your second-hand ugly holiday sweater I bought? 



About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

25 comments on “Foie-llipops

  1. princemarchmraz
    January 21, 2014

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    코리아카지노 우리카지노 다모아카지노 ┣▶ http://WWW.JOWA9.COM ◀┫ 월드카지노 썬시티카지노 에이플러스카지노 윈스카지노 정선카지노 태양성카지노 강원랜드카지노 핼로우카지노 헬로우카지노 핼로카지노 헬로카지노 바카라카지노

  2. the winegetter
    January 21, 2014

    Waiting for the invite for next time you make them! 🙂 I might have another non-Sauternes pairing for it….

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      January 22, 2014

      Ok! I also came across Aussie botrytis wine at Costco in Indy. All sweet wine dinner?

      • the winegetter
        January 22, 2014

        Sounds like an intriguing thing to do. You know how much I love steak and an aged Riesling.

  3. Go Jules Go
    January 21, 2014

    It really is the hearts on the mock turtleneck that put it over the edge.

    Did you hear you’re catering the next bloggy meet-up*? Chicago in the spring is the destination/timing currently under discussion, but I think Ann Arbor sounds pretty sweet.

    *Ugly Gorgeous sweaters mandatory.

  4. the drunken cyclist
    January 21, 2014

    I have no idea where one even buys Pop rocks….

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      January 22, 2014

      I’m sure there’s a hipster retro candy shop in Philly. Unless you have to buy at a state of Pennsylvania candy shop.

  5. mrsugarbears
    January 21, 2014

    Love the sweaters!
    I am intrigued by this recipe. Maybe, I will give it a go for our next foodie potluck. 🙂

  6. acrusteaten
    January 21, 2014

    You are so clever! And that is a truly hideous sweater.

  7. PinotNinja
    January 21, 2014

    Please tell me that, at least once, you sang “Foie la la la la” during that party. How could you not?!

    Also, I am so impressed with your sweater. It’s like the holy grail of ugly Christmas sweaters — hearts, a mock turtleneck, and a cat. That is SO much better than a Batman costume, even if it has a legit codpiece.

  8. ksbeth
    January 21, 2014

    not my sweater and you must continue to the quest to discover it’s origin, i’m afraid. as for the foie pops, wow, that’s a mouthful )

  9. wineandhistory
    January 22, 2014

    I don’t know – I’m skeptical… Those foie-llipops look… ahem, how do I say this… disgusting. Like SPAM-pops. But that Christmas sweater rocks! 🙂

  10. a2sicilian
    January 22, 2014

    Just for that sexist comment, next party will be taut 21-year-old men in banana hammocks! (See how loose-lipped I can be when my real name isn’t tied to it?). Seriously, fun party. Liked the pops even though not a big fan of foi gras (I lived in California too long.)

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      January 22, 2014

      Sexist would’ve been if I said something like “the bikini-clad hangers-on served me drinks as appropriate to their station in life”

      Is that a promise with the banana hammocks? Maybe have the one Blood-sucking lawyer’s ex?

      • a2sicilian
        January 23, 2014

        Thanks, I needed a good belly laugh today.

  11. thewineraconteur
    January 22, 2014

    You had me at the mousse and the ice wine, the pop rocks may have been a bit much for an old curmudgeon like me. LOL. An intriguing concept on the mousse though.

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This entry was posted on January 21, 2014 by in Cooking, Drinking and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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