On New Year’s Eve I branched out and tried some caviar at my parents’ house. I wasn’t sure what to expect, being that I’m not a fan of tobiko in Japanese cuisine (orange fish eggs, which are larger than caviar. There’s something about that “bursting ” sensation when you bite down on them that I dislike). But despite my expectations, this was a great culinary experience. The whole spread is perfect for special occasions. I’m a caviar-convert. First, my Mom made some buckwheat blinis (little savory Russian pancakes). If you haven’t had buckwheat before, it imparts a nice earthy flavor to the light pancakes.
We spooned some melted butter over them (I learned that there’s a phrase in Russian – something to the effect of “If the butter isn’t running down your elbows, you don’t have enough butter on your blini“). Indeed, I had enough butter. Then we topped the buttery blinis with a dollap of crème fraîche, some chopped hard-boiled egg seasoned with salt and pepper, some chives, and finally the caviar. It was one bite of bliss, followed by a flute of delectable sparkling wine. What a way to start the culinary journey of 2009!
Did you know that you’re not supposed to serve caviar with a metal spoon? I didn’t either. Use a serving utensil made of something else, such as plastic or bone. Also, keep the caviar cool over ice.