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This recipe for Fish and Chips-an Appetizer is an easy appetizer I designed for a dinner party… a simple salty potato crisp, topped with a lemony creme fraiche and a dollop of high-quality caviar. It is really quite a lovely mouthful of flavor.
An easy, elegant, appetizer
While we call most fish roe “caviar” true caviar is only harvested from the sturgeon. All other fish eggs should really be called “roe” but let’s not split hairs here (or eggs) and we’ll just call all roe … caviar.
Caviar can be very expensive. Or rather cheap. Cheap caviar is not so good, so avoid that. It’s also probably why many people say they don’t like it. “TOO FISHY” they claim. Cheap caviar is generally sold on the shelf of the supermarket or specialty store, it’s been pasteurized which does give it more of a shelf life than fresh, but it also loses its fresh texture and taste. Fresh caviar will not taste fishy, it will only taste of the sea. So for this dish, please use fresh caviar.
For my recipe for Fish and Chips-an Appetizer, I used American Caviar from the American Sturgeon. American Sturgeon are indigenous to the Missouri and Mississippi River systems. They are smaller and faster growing than most of the other sturgeon species growing to about 38 inches at maturity. The roe is dark, small in size and has a very mild subtle flavor. Very similar to Caspian Sea Osetra but smaller in size. Very nice! And at about $40.00 for a 2-ounce container, very reasonable.
I was not always a fan of caviar; having not yet met a good caviar. But the first year BB and I were invited as guests of Food and Wine Magazine to the Food and Wine Classic in Aspen, we were invited to an “after party” that the 10 Best Chefs were having in one of their condos.
I was so excited. These people cooked some of the best stuff I had ever eaten. And I’d already eaten a lot. And I was going to their house for food! What kinds of wonderful foods was I going to eat?
Looking at these dishes now, I can see how far culinary trends have come since 1999. But in the day, these dishes were cutting edge. And yes, those are the signatures of each chef. BB has always gone and had the chef’s sign the menu cards for me whenever we go to a big dinner. And yes, I still have them all.
I was so excited to be going to the “party”
But alas, after having cooked, and served, their signature best chef dish to 1000 of their closest friends, they are exhausted and just want to settle in for a little downtime, party time. So out came the platters of – Tortino’s Pizza Rolls, Pigs in a Blanket, Nachos, and the $5,000 1kg/2.2 pound tin of Beluga Caviar.
Yes, I now loved caviar.
And I wasn’t disappointed in the party at all, I got to talk to these guys. And even when exhausted, they still all loved to “talk food”.
This dish is really all about the caviar, and the potato chip. You have to use a flat chip. So you can either find a packaged chip, such as Kettle’s Baked Olive Oil Chip or make it yourself like I often do with my recipe for Homemade Baked Potato Chips. I doctor up some Creme Fraiche with lemon juice, lemon zest, a bit of finely chopped chive and a dollop of fresh caviar…voila…
To serve, put your chips out there. Nestle a bowl of caviar into some crushed ice, you want to keep it cold, along with your creme fraiche. Let your guest spoon some creme fraiche onto their chip, add the caviar and pop it into their mouth. Um YUM! That’s what I’m hearing.
Stir together the creme fraiche, zest, lemon juice, chives and a little salt to taste. Chill until read to use.
If serving immediately: put the creme fraiche on the chips, top with a dollop of caviar and serve. But don't let them sit or the chips will get soggy and you want them crisp.I generally put the chips on a plate, put the caviar in a little glass bowl set over ice, same with the creme fraiche, and let my guests make their own.
LindySez: Although you could have this, with chips already made, ready in 5 minutes, I like to make the Creme Fraiche at least a day in advance to allow the lemon zest to fully flavor the cream. If you don’t have creme fraiche, you could use sour cream, just add a bit more lemon juice, or a combination of sour cream and Greek-style yogurt.
Wine Recommendation: A dry sparkling wine or Prosecco are perfect with the salty chip and mild fish flavor. Terroir to terroir, a cold shot of vodka will work as well.
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