Gastronomy, economy

Foie gras on a budget may seem like a ridiculous concept, but consider: You only need a small amount of this rich French delicacy for your hors d’oeuvres centerpiece. Chef William Rolle, of Cafe Rolle in East Sacramento (5357 H Street), sources his fattened duck liver from Sonoma Foie Gras and prepares it as a pâté by spicing it, then poaching it in water for 40 minutes. After letting it sit overnight, a layer of yellow fat settles around the bottom, which, if you spread on warm toast, melts (and tastes) like butter—but better. Rolle sells it for $40 a pound but notes that people pay up to $160 a pound elsewhere. A quarter-pound is plenty for a large party; it will have guests moaning with pleasure at every bite.