One of my favorite things to do with my husband is recreate some of the fancier meals we have had while dining out in the comfort of our own home. There is something so special about having a dinner with the one you love in the place where you are most vulnerable and where you are the most at peace. It is so utterly important to take time away from the insanities of life and remember to look back into the eyes of the person that holds your heart. I often try to make meals for Kris that will not only impress him but will give him the feeling that I put an enormous amount thought and adoration into every element. It really is so imperative and necessary for him and I to plan date nights like these, with each other, to keep our marriage functioning and viable. I wouldn’t have it any other way. One of our favorite (and a bit lavish) indulgences is caviar. Now this might seem intimidating or even a bit daunting to someone who has never delighted in such a treat, but it is honestly one of the most fun and entertaining meals to put together. It is always impressive and eloquent, yet one of of the most important factors is that it does not have to break the bank. Caviar is not only for the well-to-do and wealthy folk; in fact, there are caviars for everyone and every palate. There are a few things about caviar that you should know, if this delicacy seems a bit unfamiliar:
1. Caviar is meant to be savored and tasted. Like, really tasted. The individual eggs should spread along your tongue and the roof of your mouth. You should be able to identify one or several kinds of flavors; it can be nutty, buttery, salty, briny, earthy, or fishy depending on the type. Take into account what exactly you can taste and make the experience be about all that is happening in your mouth.
2. Traditional accompaniments to caviar include (but are not limited to) the following: potato blinis (or potato pancakes), creme fraiche or sour cream, hard boiled egg crumbles (I have the perfect hard boiled egg recipe here), fresh chives, and minced shallots. Ice cold vodka or champagne should be enjoyed between each bite to cleanse the palate. Do not accompany with red or white wine; it will too heavily compete with the flavors of the caviar.
3. Expensive caviar does not equal the best. Caviar is enjoyable because everybody’s preference and appetite is different. You may find that the moderately priced tin is your absolute favorite and the more expensive simply doesn’t suit you. The price on caviar is based upon how rare the eggs are and is not based upon taste; so find what it is you like and experiment with that.
Now that you have an idea about how culinary exciting and intriguing caviar can be; plan your next date night. Valentine’s day is just around the corner and it would be super fun to show your partner exactly what caviar is all about. Impress the ones you love with a memorable meal and enjoy!
- 1 Russet potato (about 1lb)
- 3 Tbsp flour
- 1 TBSP Creme Fraiche
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2 organic brown eggs
- 1 organic brown egg yolk
- a few tsps of unsalted butter
- 2 hard boiled organic brown eggs, finely diced
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 1 TBSP fresh chives, finely diced
- 2 TBSP Creme Fraiche
- Caviar* (see note)
- Peel the potato and cut into 8 small cubes. Add the potato to a large pot of water and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. While the potato boils, start on the accoutrements; mince the shallot and finely dice the hard boiled eggs and chives. Set them aside in separate decorative bowls.
- Drain and remove the cooked potato cubes into a large bowl. Mash the potato with a fork. Add the flour, creme fraiche, salt and pepper. Add the eggs one at a time completely combining before adding the next egg. Make sure to get as many lumps out as you can. Set the batter aside (it should look like a light yellow pancake batter).
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add a little teaspoon of butter and once it melts, begin spooning out batter into small pancakes (I use a TBSP measure to make sure that all my potato pancakes are even in size). Let cook for about a minute or two before flipping (there should be dark brown marks on the surface). Cook for another minute or two on the other side and then place onto a plate. Continue this process until all the batter is used (adding more butter to the pan when needed). You should end up with about 16-18 mini pancakes.
- To assemble the potato pancakes: spread a small amount of creme fraiche on the pancake and top with a few chives, shallots, and egg crumbles. Top with about a teaspoon of caviar and enjoy! Drink ice cold vodka or champagne in-between bites to cleanse the palate and then repeat!
- We love the Lascco Whitefish Caviar (2oz jar) from Gelson’s, which happens to be the least expensive of their loot. Other caviars that we like include Sturgeon and Bowfin. Feel free to try any of your choosing; after all, we all have different preferences.