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Vodka, Scallops, and Caviar!

by Olga Schafranek |

Does anyone have that friend who cooks great stuff and when you ask for a recipe they say they didn't really use one? So whatever they made can probably never be recreated as deliciously by you. My mom and my brother-in-law are like that. It can be quite irritating (love you guys!). But I am totally going to be like that now...

To celebrate National Fried Scallop Day (Oct 2) and National Vodka Day (Oct 4), I decided to whip up our Reserve Caviar Luxe Signature Bite. A scallop dish with caviar that is recommended for pairing with cold premium vodka. How perfectly did that work out? Almost as perfect as my on-the-fly white wine cream sauce that is required for the Signature Bite (#bragging).

All I did was heat up about 2 tablespoons (plus or minus) of butter in a sauce pan and tossed in some finely chopped shallots. Once the shallots were translucent, I poured in some white wine (of which I first poured myself a glass to sip while cooking, naturally) and turned up the heat a little to let it reduce. Once the wine had reduced at least by half -- if not more -- I quickly whisked in some heavy cream and let that reduce a little, too. I added a few more splashes of heavy cream until I had the flavor and consistency I wanted. Oh, and salt and white pepper! I'm telling you. It was so good. I ate almost half with a spoon before actually using it for the dish. It would be delicious for anything. Potatoes (duh), fish (as per another alternative for this Signature Bite), asparagus, etc. 

 

 

 

I recently received some of our Mother of Pearl serving ware and thought this dish would be lovely on it. I spooned some sauce on the plate, topped with a perfectly seared scallop and, of course, the Reserve Caviar. The three layers of this dish make one perfect bite - the tender meat of scallop, creamy sauce and pop of caviar. Followed by a nice shot of ice cold vodka. 

 Celebrate both holidays in this one dish by ordering your Reserve Caviar here

My friend and former co-worker was over checking out our new place and was able to sample the dish. Actually, she ate most of it because I'm pregnant (surprise!) and couldn't eat too much of it or drink any of the vodka. But I had the opportunity to be the annoying person with the delicious sauce and no real recipe (#foodiegoals). 

And don't forget, the story matters - when picking up your scallops, ask your supplier where they're from and how they're fished or farmed! Check the Seafood Watch website for your ideal options and best alternatives. 

Na Zdorovye,

Olga

Because the Story Matters - National Seafood Month/The Party

by Olga Schafranek |

You've heard our story probably many times. We are proud of our sustainable, small batch, farm-to-table caviar. Farmed with integrity and produced without preservatives. We care for the fish, the environment, and our employees. But we don't share because we want show-off. We share because the story matters.

As partners of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program, and as suppliers of fine seafood products, we have a responsibility to the community to keep them informed about where their food is coming from. People are becoming increasingly interested in the origins of their meat, their wine, their produce. Seafood is important, too. It goes beyond following a trend or indulging in some kind of luxury. Where food comes from, how it is produced, and how it gets to your plate affects the environment, affects our future, affects our bodies, and the livelihood of those involved in its creation.

October is National Seafood Month and we will be kicking it off with Cooking for Solutions "The Party" at the Monterey Bay Aquarium on Saturday, October 1st. Special guest Nathan Lyon will be present along with over 60 restaurants, wineries, and breweries all celebrating practices in fishing and farming that promote healthy oceans and healthy lifestyles.

Chef Nathan Lyon

Did you know that in many cases there aren't "plenty of fish in the sea"? Irresponsible fishing methods are ruining supply, hurting different species, and even supporting slavery and child labor. It's important to ask your suppliers the right questions because mislabeling and a lack of regulation could keep you completely clueless to these detrimental practices. That's why the story really means something.

Celebrate National Seafood Month by educating yourself about sustainable and positive seafood choices. Visit the Seafood Watch website for the latest news, list of standards, FAQs, resources, recommendations and helpful apps. And make sure you enjoy some goods from the sea!

We hope to see our Monterey fans at the aquarium.

Na Zdorovye,

Olga

 

Take Another Break with Another #EAT Series Dish

by Olga Schafranek |

Fall is under way and though everything is crisp and beautiful, it feels like everything has to take more time. Fall dishes have more steps, things simmer for hours. Not that it's a bad thing, but sometimes it's hard not to long for the Summer, when everything was purposefully effortless. 

Of course it wasn't even that long ago that I last posted about an easy Labor Day Weekend BBQ dish, but with everything that's happened in-between -- days sneakily growing darker, traffic building up, school starting again -- it feels like forever ago already. Let's agree to ease into the Fall and treat ourselves with another EAT series dish for the weekend...

I chose the Traditional Signature Bite for our Ginger Infused Whitefish Roe - a roe topped rice paper spring roll. This infused roe is flavored with fresh Hawaiian ginger and pairs well with Asian and Western dishes, which we know are quite popular today. It's a trade show favorite with bright and fresh flavors. 

I found rice paper spring rolls at the sushi section of the grocery store. They didn't have crab in them, which is recommended for the dish, so I purchased some crab meat, mixed it with some mayonnaise and chopped cilantro. The crab salad went on top of each roll and was then topped with the Ginger Whitefish Roe. 

Delicious. Effortless. #EAT!

Join me this weekend in extending Summer into the beginning of Fall and create this simple and delicious dish.

Click here to order our Ginger Whitefish Roe today!

Na Zdorovye, 

Olga

EAT Series: A Quick & Luxe Dish for Labor Day

by Olga Schafranek |

I was shopping in Whole Foods Market the other day when I noticed smoked trout pâté in the seafood section. Brilliant! I had been intimidated by the prospect of trying out the Luxe Signature Bite for our Gold Pearl Trout Roe - rye bread toasts topped with Smoked Trout Rillettes, mixed greens, radish, horseradish dressing, and the roe. Now I had the perfect way to #EAT my way out of making it from scratch! 

May I suggest that this dish appear on your Labor Day Menu? Finish off celebrating Summer with an effortless bang! Treat your friends and family to an impressive and stunning bite that let's you stay lazy and take a break before the madness of Fall and back to school and full-day Fridays begin. 

It really is insanely easy. After finding the smoked trout pâté, I grabbed some radishes, some microgreens (I actually used radish sprouts), some prepared horseradish dressing/mayonnaise, and thinly sliced rye bread. At home I cut the bread into triangles, drizzled it with some olive oil and stuck it in the oven until toasted. Then I spread the pâté on each piece, added just a touch of the horseradish, thinly sliced radish, the trout roe, and a carefully placed sprout. 

It really takes no effort at all. You can throw these together in between setting up the drinks table, or firing up the grill, or finding the one bathing suit that still fits, or setting up the sprinklers. There is time for this dish and look how pretty it is! And the flavor is spot on, too. The creamy and smoky trout with the subtle, sweet pop of the roe and the crunch of the radish - divine! Your guests will thank you. And you will thank yourself for the shortcut to this deliciousness. 

Summer went by too fast, as always. My long bucket list for the season suddenly has no time for completion. As much as I love pumpkin spice and apple picking, I'm still clinging to the backyard barbecues. So breathe in those last few moments of Summer, everyone. I hope they are beautiful for you all. 

To order your Gold Pearl Trout Roe in time for Labor Day, click here

Enjoy the long weekend! 

Na Zdorovye! 

Olga

 

 

Fast Cars & Slow Caviar: crafted to perfection

by Olga Schafranek |

Tomorrow we will be participating in the annual Serata Italiana Lamborghini Club America Gala during Monterey's Car Week. This year they will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Lamborghini Miura. The event celebrates these beautiful cars and the luxurious lifestyle that comes with them. A perfect place to enjoy Tsar Nicoulai caviar, as well. Caviar and fancy cars. Sounds like a spectacular pairing to me. 

At the gala, we will be featuring our Select, Crown Jewel, Beet + Saffron and Truffle Infused Whitefish Roes. 



Since I can't be at the event, I decided to make myself a dish with our Truffle Infused Whitefish Roe and our convenient and delicious Blini Mix. The Classic Signature Bite is a mini buckwheat crêpe with braised scallions, crème fraîche, and the Truffle Roe

The Blini Mix is easily combined with a few extra ingredients. For crêpes, additional milk is added (less liquid is used for the mini blinis). I accidentally fried regular sized crêpes, but quickly grabbed a circular cookie cutter to cut them down into perfect mini crêpes. Close call.


Next, I sautéed scallions on high heat with butter, then added broth and lowered the heat, allowing them to wilt and braise. Once those were ready, each mini crêpe was topped with crème fraîche, the scallions, and some roe. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don't have a Lamborghini so I will just have to sit back and admire our Honda CRV while nibbling on this dish - a lovely marriage of flavors from the land and sea. 

Order our Truffle Infused Roe here and our Blini Mix here. Visit your local Lamborghini dealer to purchase the car and complete the experience.

 

 


Na Zdorovye!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Olga

From 2015