Seared Foie Gras With Autumn Fruit `Chutney'

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6 to 8 ounces foie gras, trimmed of major veins (see note)

Salt and pepper to taste

Pinch of mixed spices, such as allspice, nutmeg or quatre epices

1/4 cup Cognac or good brandy (I have used whiskey before, and very good it is, too)

Flour for dusting

2 to 3 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup beef or duck stock

Handful frisee or spring mix, tossed with a little balsamic vinegar and a drop or two of olive oil

The Chutney

4 or 5 shallots, chopped

1/2 cup dry red wine

2 to 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Dash red wine vinegar

1 to 2 teaspoons sugar, or to taste (you want the mixture to be sweet- sour)

1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon

Several pinches ginger

1 or 2 slices fresh not-too-hot chile, chopped; or a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper

Pinch or two allspice, nutmeg or quatre epices

Autumn fruit (choose a combination of what is in season and available): 1 small bunch grapes, cut into halves (15-20 grapes, red, green, purple); 1 small plum, pitted, diced; 4 figs, cut into bite- sized pieces; 2 Fuyu persimmons, diced; 1 pear or apple,

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