Wednesday, November 18, 2009
One of the things I love about food is that it is the absolute root of all celebrations. Thanksgiving? Turkey. Easter? Brunch. 4th of July? BBQ!
As I have mentioned several times on here, my aunt's Thanksgiving is bomb. But this post isn't about one of her awesome recipes, it's actually about my dad's contribution for the day... house-cured salmon caviar with homemade bellinis.
Now, my dad has always been a stellar fisherman. I have countless stories about fishing with him while I was young. How many people you know got a fly rod for their college graduation? Enough said. Knowing this and LIVING this, I am somewhat disappointed in myself that when I asked him for "that fish appetizer [he does] on Thanksgiving" that I was surprised at how down-right hard core it was. Here I am thinking, "go to the store, grab some bagels, buy cream cheese, cured salmon..." I was way off.
Turns out my dad puts his waders on and heads to a stream (usually in Michigan) in September and targets female salmon. He can actually t-a-r-g-e-t fish. Sheesh. He then takes them (yes, that's plural) home and cures the eggs for over 30 days in his fridge and brings them to Thanksgiving with all the fixings. He also makes homemade bellinis which he freezes and serves thawed out on Thanksgiving day. To wash it down, he suggests Champagne or a chilled flute of vodka.
Sorry to miss the festivities this year everyone. I love you all!
Preparing Roe for Caviar
Joy of Cooking
Remove from roe from fish as soon as possible. Tear the egg masses into small pieces. Work them through a 1/4 inch or finer sieve to free the eggs from the membrane. Place them for 15-20 minutes in a cold brine of 1cup plus 2 tablespoons pickling salt per quart of cold water. There should be twice as much brine than roe. Remove from liquid and drain thoroughly in a strainer for about 1 hour. Keep refrigerated during this operation.
Place the strained roe in an airtight nonmetal container and store at 34 degrees for 1 to 2 months. Remove, repack, and store at 0 degrees until ready for use.