I’ve been slowly, plucking off items from my bucket list because that’s what you’re supposed to do and I’ve finally….FINALLY gotten to Caviar. HO-LY shit!!
I gotta pat myself on the back for this one folks.
Caviar is one of those funky textured foods that people either love or hate and that’s independent of the high price point, nuk nuk nuk!
Sorry. That was awful. Let me try and recover before you slam your laptop completely shut
Caviar…good Caviar, taste like the sea. A delicate, salty buttery taste. But I paused for a bit after I bought it because I’d never used it in a recipe before. I was uncertain of what I wanted to do with it.
Whenever I get to this point or just need some inspiration in general, I open up this book called A Return to Cooking. It’s a fascinating visual documentary of food created by a group of chefs as they travel across multiple continents in the span of a year.
Pragmatically speaking– it’s the best book I’ve ever owned** and it gave me a great idea for the perfect use of Caviar!
And guys…this recipe is the absolute shit – meant to be eaten IMMEDIATELY. I’ve also included a few tips on evaluating Caviar at the end of the post.
My buddy Crowley lent this book to me a couple summers ago. He himself is a chef here in Boston with the gift of effortlessly creating extraordinary food and over the years, has amassed a ton of cookbooks.
I was over his apt one day and was flipping my way through a pile of cookbooks carelessly stacked together when I came across A Return to Cooking. I asked if I could borrow it and he gave me a “sure, no big deal” kind of shrug and lent it to me. 8 months later, I was ready to return it to him.
I made several attempts to return Crowleys book but he was either traveling, not home, in Maine…we just couldn’t connect. So instead of mailing it to him [because why do without], I told him to just hit me up whenever he missed it.
It’s been 2 years now soooo …
Baked Potatoes with Smoked Salmon & Caviar
What I Used
3 Large Russet Potatoes. 3 tbsp Butter. 2-3 tbsp Scallions. 3 tbsp thinly sliced Chives. ½ cup Sour Cream. 4 oz Smoked Salmon. 4 oz Salmon Eggs [roe]. 4-5 oz Caviar.
What I Did
Pre-heat the oven to 400F, wrap each potato in tin foil and bake until tender. 40mins or so.
When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut the top 3rd off the potato and scoop out the insides into a large bowl.
You can prepare the potatoes ahead of time until this point.
Mix the butter in with the potatoes and reheat in the oven until it is warmed through. About 5 mins.
Turn down the oven to 350F, put the potato skins on a baking sheet and [also] reheat in the oven, until you are ready to serve.
With the warmed potato pulp removed from the oven, add in the Scallions, 2 tbsp thinly sliced Chives, Sour Cream and the Smoked Salmon [cut in 1 in pieces]. Mix it in real well.
Then add in half the tin of Caviar and the Salmon Eggs.
Gently stir to combine, careful not to break the eggs.
Lastly, divide the mixture among the Potato skins, topping each with a dollop of Caviar and a sprinkling of the remaining tbsp of Chives.
This will not and should not be left over.
Tips on Evaluating Caviar
Besides taste [see above], good Caviar should also be assessed by sight:
Before you buy some and if you’re able to see through the packaging, check that the eggs are uniform in shape and color. They should be intact, not bruised or broken.
Another thing – check for oil at the bottom of the tin/jar. The presence of a lot of oil can indicate that the Caviar is old or has been improperly stored.
Texture is important too. When you eat the Caviar, the eggs should not be mushy or ping-pong ball hard. Which leads me to this fun fact that I experienced first-hand:
NEVER HEAT CAVIAR. It should ALWAYS be served cold.
In my case, I’d already put the eggs on top of my potato when I realized that my potatoes were cold – too much food photography. So I re-heated the whole dish in the microwave. While my potatoes were warmed nicely my Caviar was rock hard.
Lastly -try not to use a metal utensil when handling Caviar. It’s so fragile that the metal composition in the spoon or fork, can affect the taste of the Caviar. They actually make specific Caviar spoons to prevent this.
I know… that’s a lot of checks and balances for some fucking fish eggs [WIKI probably has more] but if you’re prepared to pay for it – why not make it worth your money?