There is no doubt, I enjoy things a bit on the unusual side. This being said, one persons commonplace is another exotic. For me, I would have to say that caviar doesn’t find its way onto my plate very often. Or at all to be honest. The closest I usually get is a bit of masago in my sushi maki. Which is tasty, of course. However, I had a craving this week to take that step to try out some caviar. I saw it also as a shameless excuse to indulge in some vodka and have it match the theme… it’s all about the theme. So, I decided to go with a few traditional-ish Russian dishes, centering around the use of caviar on the main entrée.
So, three dishes, as per norm, starting with blinis and caviar, alongside Istrian Gnocchi with Truffle Cream and some Fried sauerkraut cakes with kielbasa to finish it off. Quite satisfying in an extravagant sort of way. Truffle cream and caviar in the same meal? Color me convinced. The three recipes were sourced from epicurious (go figure) and followed fairly closely. I did a bit of modifications on the Blinis, they called for using a pancake mix, I went ahead and made some savory pancakes from scratch and simply topped them with caviar. A dollop of sour cream would have been nice but unfortunately, I large plate of nachos the night before reduced my sour cream supply to zero. Such is life, it still turned out nice…
The Blini: I went the simple route with this, mixing 1 cup of flour, 1 egg, 1 cup of milk, a tsp of baking powder, a twist of salt and a drizzle of olive oil in a mixing bowl. Add to this a nice dash or oregano and marjoram. Stir well and cook on a hot griddle until the surface develops air bubbles. Flip and cook a few more minutes until brown. Serve immediately topped with chilled caviar and sour cream/smoked salmon if you have it available. I didn’t but that’s ok 🙂
The gnocchi: The original recipe can be found here and I followed it fairly closely, just halving the quantity based on my solo dining. I think this recipe deserves a closer look, perhaps my technique was a bit off… my gnocchi turned out a bit denser than I would have liked. Instead of truffle butter, I used a fresh knob of butter with a drizzle of truffle oil to finish it off. Same basic principle and it’s what I had on hand… the flavor was outstanding, I am sold on anything with truffle oil, I can only imagine the absolute ecstasy that a real fresh truffle would bring. Perhaps it’s best that I never find out, I would probably be in very poor financial shape if I got too used to the flavor of truffles.
The Sauerkraut cakes with Kielbasa: the primary issue I had with this recipe is that kielbasa is so damned tasty, I couldn’t help snacking on it, both cooked and uncooked. Just thinking about it now, I really wish I had some left over… mmmm, tasty. Anyway, simple to make and fairly quick. Drain the kraut really well and mix in the eggs, scallions, flour, salt and pepper. Form into flat cakes and shallow fry in hot oil until brown and crispy. Drain well on paper towels. Meanwhile, slice up your kielbasa into 1/2 slices and fry both sides to brown. Top the sauerkraut cakes with the kielbasa and eat immediately. That last pasrt is probably unneeded, these things are so tasty that you will have a hard time not eating them immediately.
Overall, a fancier meal than your average that had a fairly low effort level and prep time. It was enjoyable to cook and even more so to eat.
Also, the vodka helped a lot.