Recipe: Valentine’s Day caviar (or lumpfish) dreams
TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. – Remember that show, “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” where the host, Robin Leach, would screech, “The stuff caviar dreams are made of” after every segment? The guy really gave fish eggs a highfalutin reputation.Sure, caviar can be expensive, but, as a little dab will do ya, it really is not out of the realm of financial feasibility. First of all with caviar, high- or low-end, it really is all about the sides (excuse me, I meant accoutrements) – that being your sour cream, toast points, red onions and the like. The less expensive your caviar, the more you will rely on pairings.Enter lumpfish. Yes, that unfortunate name. It has the same consistency and saltiness as your expensive Beluga caviar, but the eggs are smaller, and it is available, un-refrigerated, in your local grocery store at about $10 for an ample four-ounce jar. The real deal can vary from $35 to more than $100 for an ounce (Village Market in Incline Village, 775-831-5025, or Avec in Truckee, 530-582-1903).For the table, we’re going to get a little Feng Shui and set it for two, in the master bedroom, which has been purged (temporarily) of photographs of the children, the dog, the in-laws (good advice any day of the week) even the tool belt, which usually hangs on the bed post.You will need a pretty bowl full of ice in which to set the set the caviar (not for lumpfish), some little spoons and frozen shot-sized glasses. Flowers, candles and chocolate truffles are a welcome touch.
• One jar Lumpfish, chilled• Six boiled eggs, chopped fine• Three Tbls. red onions, finely chopped• Two Tbls. mayonnaise• Dash of white pepper• Six pieces white Wonder Bread, very lightly toasted, crusts cut offMix eggs, onions, pepper and mayonnaise, spread on toasted bread. Top each slice of bread with Lumpfish, spread (gently) the edges. Cut the bread in half diagonally and serve. Makes 12 triangles.
• One jar Russian, Iranian or California Caviar, chilled• Half-cup finely chopped red onions• Half-cup of sour cream• Half-cup finely chopped hard boiled egg• Six or seven slices of white Wonder Bread, very lightly toasted.Slice crust off bread and then cut into small triangles, four per bread slice, diagonally and then halved. Place bread in a pretty, napkin-lined basket accompanied by small, separate formal dishes of the sour cream, eggs and red onion. The caviar should be in the center of the arrangement, on ice. While enjoying, spread each bread triangle with sour cream, add a small spoonful of caviar and then top with onions and egg.For a Swedish variation on the above, roast little Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes until skin is crisp, scoop out some, but not all, of the potato from the middle, leaving a little potato boat. Use in place of bread, following the same layering sequence.All or any of the above should be served with shots of ice-cold, premium vodka.