Caviar, while undeniably glamorous, is a low-maintenance food: All you really need to eat it is a spoon. There are, however, several things worth remembering:
1. Avoid pasteurized caviar and buy only fresh, about 1-2 ounces (3-5 teaspoons) per person. Ask for samples and buy what tastes best—a higher price is not necessarily a reflection of better quality. Buy it no more than a few days before it is to be served, and keep it in the coldest part of your refrigerator until about a half-hour before serving (heat and oxygen are caviar’s biggest enemies).
To serve, simply stick the ossetra caviar tin on top of a bed of crushed ice, and serve it with a bone, mother-of-pearl, gold-plated, or even plastic spoon. Do not use silver or stainless steel; both caviar and spoon will suffer.
Caviar may be piled on blini (see recipe) or on toast points or plain bread. Accompaniments include melted butter, minced green onions, finely chopped hard-cooked eggs (whites and yolks are kept separate), sour cream or creme fraiche, and lemon wedges. Fine caviar, though, is extravagant enough on its own, and we like it best unadorned.
The original blini (the word literally means ”yeast pancakes”) were made with buckwheat flour. Today, as in this recipe, white flour is often added to yield lighter blini.
1 1⁄4 tsp. active dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm milk
1⁄2 cup buckwheat flour
1⁄2 tsp. sugar
1⁄4 tsp. salt
2⁄3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. sour cream
1⁄4 cup heavy cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
Combine yeast and milk in a large bowl. Mix well, then add buckwheat flour, sugar, and salt. Mix thoroughly, cover with plastic wrap or a clean dish towel, and set aside to rise until bubbles appear on the surface, about 1 hour.
Add all-purpose flour, sour cream, heavy cream, eggs, and butter. Mix well, cover, and set aside to rise for 2 hours more.
Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook blini a few at a time (adding oil as necessary). Spoon batter, 1 tbsp. at a time, into the hot pan, and smooth with the back of a spoon (blini will flatten as they cook). Cook until edges brown and bubbles appear on the surface, about 1 minute. Flip blini; cook for 30 seconds more.
Transfer finished blini to a plate and cover with a clean dishtowel while finishing cooking. Serve blini warm, brushed with melted butter if desired, and topped with caviar.
Ceviche of scallop and tuna, Seville orange and fennel
CEVICHE TUNA MARINADE
45g of grey salt
20 black peppercorns, crushed
1/2 Seville orange, zested
1/2 lemon, Microplane zested
20g of basil stalks, chopped
1000g of tuna loin
SEVILLE ORANGE BRUNOISE
1 Seville orange zested and cut into 1mm squares
50g of caster sugar
50ml of yuzu juice
50g of root ginger
2 lemons, juiced
120g of caster sugar
1 lime, juiced