I enjoy eating salmon occasionally. But I am a caviar virgin...until this dish came along.
For the longest time, I was so curious how caviar tastes like, and why the rich and famous love this unbelievably expensive fish roe so much!
I will not pretend to know much about this salty delicacy and appear snooty in the process. I Googled, and Wikipedia states, "traditionally the designation caviar is only used for sturgeon roe from the wild sturgeon species living in the Caspian Sea...". Ergo, eggs of a large fish, heehee =)
My curiosity led me to this post by Jenni Epperson which got me more excited to finally indulge and give in to my inner foodie. I learned that lumpfish roe is the more affordable caviar, in black or red variety.
I quickly planned for a pasta dish that will marry the diverse flavors of salmon, cheese and caviar. So off I went to find some nice salmon fillet, a block of parmesan cheese, and began my search for that easy-on-the-pocket caviar. And as if it was meant to be, a new batch of Emborg Lumpfish Caviar were being stacked as I passed by the cooler section of the supermarket (Unimart)! I grabbed this 100-gram jar with a price tag of P324.50 (about US$7 only). Some may still think it's pricey for a tiny jar, but I soon discovered that a little goes a long way for caviar.
To be honest, I was really excited to prepare and serve this dish especially to J, knowing he prefers creamy white sauces over tomato-based pasta sauces. Surprisingly, this very satisfying meal was quite easy to prepare. Let's now move on to the recipe:
Creamy Salmon and Caviar Pasta
Approx. 125 gms. Spaghetti
100 gms. Salmon fillet (plain)
Half a small white onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon butter, unsalted
1/2 cup all purpose cream
3 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon lumpfish caviar
parsley and capers, optional
Boil water for pasta.
Slice or cube salmon fillets, salt lightly and set aside.
Chop parsley for garnish (optional)
Cook pasta as instructed from the pack.
Heat olive oil in a pan, then add butter.
On medium heat, sweat chopped onions in the pan.
Add salmon then saute for around 3 minutes, until half-cooked
Pour in cream and simmer a couple minutes.
Mix in grated cheese in the cream sauce until melted.
Simmer for a few more minutes then turn off heat.
Check pasta if al dente, drain and set aside.
Toss spaghetti in the creamy salmon sauce and plate.
Finally, top the dish with caviar.
Garnish with capers and parsley if you wish.
Serve immediately. Best with toasted garlic-rubbed baguette.
Good for 1 to 2 persons.
Add more cream and cheese for your desired consistency and taste.
Good to know: Mother-of-pearl is the ideal serving dish for caviar. Never use metal spoons to scoop out caviar. If you don't have mother-of-pearl cocktail spoon, use plastic instead.
If you wish to use gravlax or smoked salmon, you may skip cooking the salmon with the cream and simply top the plated dish with slivers of salmon and caviar.
My perfect bite -- the lethal combination of delicate black 'pearls', tender salmon chunks and al dente pasta noodles enveloped in velvety cream cheese sauce! Rich, rich, rich (in looks and in flavor!) :-)))
Truly a gastronomic delight!
Crazy for more caviar? How about some lumpfish caviar on toast as hors d'oeuvres, or even for breakfast?
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