My neighbor David is a fisherman, first and foremost, and he takes his job very, very seriously. Fortunately for me, he is also an excellent cook and a generous friend!
This afternoon he brought over two delightful snacks that I have never had the pleasure of trying before: smoked steelhead trout and steelhead caviar, both from his own catch and kitchen.
Now, I admit to loving sushi more than most stuff, but caviar is just one of those things I have never gotten around to ordering at, uh, any restaurant I’ve ever been to because none of them were that fancy. And I have to admit, I really had no idea what to expect and was a little nervous. Would it be super-fishy? I hate super-fishy.
But David has never yet steered me wrong on a recipe, so as he was standing there in my kitchen trying to get my dogs to calm down and stop barking their enthusiastic greetings at him (we don’t get a lot of company), I didn’t hesitate to get out the crackers and scoop up a big bite of these crystal-clear, glowingly orange little orbs.
The eggs burst at the touch of my tongue with a flavor that was delicate and rather salty, with just a hint of dill. Delightful. David suggested serving it with cream cheese, and I concurred that the blander flavor would go perfectly with it. I promised to try more of it soon and he went on his way. I figured I might have it later either for or with dinner tonight.
I lasted about 20 minutes before I was back in the kitchen smearing cream cheese on crackers and breaking up the smoked fish into a pile of nice boneless bits. I stacked it all together and voilà:
If any of you have access to fresh steelhead roe, you might want to try making your own caviar with this recipe. It certainly looks easy enough, and the results are amazing.
Trout caviar retails for as much as $200 a pound, and I would say it’s worth it. I am fortunate to have received such a generous gift. The fish was equally amazing–applewood smoky, sweet and a little bit peppery with just the right firm/tender texture. I had no idea I liked trout so much until now.
I wish I could post that recipe too, but even David is not so generous as to share his smoking secrets with me.