(Aug. 16, 2019) My path of intention peaks behind the tedious metronome of daily routines.
Submission to repetitiveness could become a way of the existence; however, my passion for individualism entices me to a point of no return.
But in the interim of progression, sometimes the smallest recollection can trigger a mound of cherished memories.
I allow myself to taker a much-deserved break and for once let go of the future. A glass of Pinot Grigio sets the mood, but it will only be for one.
It is hard to believe that this coming Christmas will be five years since the passing of my father. Some say time has a way of healing; I think it is more appropriate to say we learn to live with a particular situation and incorporate it into the challenges of life.
My father and I adored caviar and every so often he would surprise me with a sampling of the finest fish eggs from all over the world. My mother and sister could not fathom such a liking.
Caviar is one of those foods that you either scarf it up or walk away in disgust. I am so thankful that my palate relishes such a delicacy. It is a true blessing from the sea.
The high cost and near-extinction of imported caviar should not deter one from serving this festive dish.
There are many domestic caviars on the market: roe from American sturgeon, paddlefish, or salmon. Unfortunately, over-fishing ended our dominance by the early 1900s.
If one decides to incorporate caviar into their menu, there are a few protocols you should know.
First and foremost, fine caviar should be served very cold in a non-metallic bowl nested inside a larger bowl filled with ice.
Caviar does not freeze until it is below 28 degrees, so you should store it in the coldest part of the refrigerator to get it as ice-cold as possible without it actually freezing, which can affect the texture of the eggs.
Avoid metal utensils which may impart a metallic taste to the caviar. Choose servers and utensils made of glass, plastic, or traditional mother-of-pearl.
Purists will insist on a shot of the finest frozen vodka to accompany their caviar. If you prefer champagne, choose the driest version possible.
Do not chew caviar, as you will lose a lot of the flavor. Use your tongue to feel the beads of goodness and taste the buttery fat.
Take small bites of caviar. It is an expensive product and should be enjoyed and not gobbled up. And whatever you do, do not park next to the caviar setup and indulge. Partaking of more than two ounces is considered “rude.”
Blinis topped with caviar are a traditional way to present the decadent dish. Blinis are tiny pancakes (1 ½ inches) that are generally made with buckwheat flour.
I find that all-purpose and buckwheat flour yield a lighter product which highlights the caviar or any other food item you want to showcase.
Fall is around the corner and blinis are a great item to have in your repertoire of goodies.
A basic blini recipe follows:
1 ¼ teaspoon active yeast
1 cup luke warm milk
½ cup buckwheat flour
½ tsp. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. sour cream
¼ cup heavy cream
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 tbsp. melted unsalted butter, and vegetable oil.
Combine yeast and milk in a large bowl. Mix well, then add buckwheat flour, sugar and salt. Mix thoroughly, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise until bubbles appear on the surface, about 1 hour.
Add all-purpose flour, sour cream, heavy cream, eggs and butter. Mix well, cover, and set aside to rise for 2 hours.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook blinis a few at a time.
Cook until edges brown and bubbles appear on the surface, about 1 minute. Flip blinis, cook for 30 seconds more.
Caviar can be served year-round, as an appetizer or an amuse bouche. If you are on a budget, consider a non-sturgeon caviar.
Hard boiled eggs are a perfect accompaniment for any grade of caviar. Eggs need salt and caviar is loaded with sodium.
A garnish of fresh dill completes a simple and elegant appetizer.
Simply hard boil the desired amount of eggs. Peel and slice them lengthwise. Carefully and artistically arrange the caviar over the yolk of the egg. Garnish with fresh dill.
The picture in this week’s article highlights salmon caviar which is very affordable and can be purchased at Harris Teeter. Enjoy!
• Buckwheat flour can be purchased at gourmet supermarkets and Amazon.
• The blini recipe was taken from the Saveur website.
Secret Ingredient – Food. “Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.”
– Ruth Reichl