24 September 2012

From the Chef ~ Home-cured Salmon Roe Caviar

It's been a busy summer out on the Sound, and this year that has meant lots of wild blackberries, dungeness crab and salmon.  Besides home-cured lox, one of my favorite new foodstuffs is home-cured salmon roe caviar.  I say "home-cured" and not "homemade" because really you are just tweaking a food that the salmon hens so graciously produce all on their own.  They really deserve all the credit.  It's really very simple and easy to take it to the next step - and a very, very worthwhile and yummy endeavor!  The best part is that you can really maximize a salmon you caught right here in our abundant waters.  This year we've caught and cured the roe of both Chinook and Coho off Dolphin Point on Vashon Island to equal satisfaction.  Here is the link to the method I am using (this is a great site, by the way!) 


As far as how to use it, I have tried it simply on top of white rice and orzo pasta, which lengthens the flavor.  I think I like it best on crackers as an hors devours.  I've tried combos of horseradish and minced onion and with thin slices of avacado.  My favorite invention is as follows:

Salmon Caviar Drizzled with Chive-Basil Oil
1.  Finely chop some fresh chives and basil.  Better yet, use a mortar and pestle to pound them into a fragrant green pulp.  With some freshly ground pepper, add to good olive oil, buttery or spicey, mix and set aside.

2.  Take some crackers - I like Ak Mak, as the sesame seeds add another, nutty dimension - and break into pieces and thinly spread some cream cheese on top.  Set crackers on a nice serving plate.

3.  Pile high with your home-cured salmon roe and then drizzle with chive-basil oil.  Enjoy with beer, white wine, bubbly or a dirty gin martini.

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