If you're like most people, you think of caviar as something that's served as a fancy hors d'oeuvre on top of an unsalted water cracker and enjoyed with a glass of ice-cold champagne. Although this culinary classic provides a traditional caviar experience that few things can match, it's not the only way to use this product. Caviar is commonly considered an hors d'oeuvre ingredient, but it can work in main dishes as well. The key to getting the most from your caviar when added to a main dish is to use it in much the same way that you would use a spice so that its strong flavor profile doesn't overwhelm the dish. The other important factor is to keep the flavor profile itself as simple as possible — the taste and texture of caviar clashes with many different flavors, and even when it's mixed with ingredients that it doesn't clash with, mixing too many flavors together in one dish detracts from the caviar itself.
Following are three everyday dishes that you can dress up with caviar whenever you're craving that special occasion feeling.
Caviar on Scrambled Eggs
The texture of creamy lightly scrambled eggs pairs extremely well with Russian caviar, but it's important that the eggs are made with just a slight amount of cream or whole milk and a light sprinkle each of cracked black pepper and kosher salt. Don't overdo the caviar — after you've taken the eggs from the pan, sprinkle just a pinch on top of them. Although it's tempting to try this with omelets, doing so runs a significant risk of flavor overload.
Caviar in Pasta
Caviar is an excellent addition to plain pasta dishes, but again, the keyword here is simple. Try it with angel hair pasts tossed lightly in virgin olive oil or a basic fettuccine alfredo with a side of crusty French bread. If you want to bring another flavor to the picture, consider adding a touch of lemon — it will bring out the flavor of the caviar without clashing.
Caviar in Pancakes
Most people would never associate caviar with pancakes, but it's actually a classic dish in Russia. The pancakes are called blinis and are made with a combination of buckwheat and all-purpose flour. For an elegant breakfast on a leisurely weekend morning, brush your blinis lightly with salted butter and place a spoonful of Russian Osetra Caviar on top of each one.
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