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Do something fishy; celebrate National Caviar Day

By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer

Today, July 18, is National Caviar Day, according to the internet. However, no documentation has been found that some group, like Congress, whose members are among the few people in American who can afford the little fish eggs, have made any kind of declaration or proclamation.
But what do we care? Caviar, which is salted fish eggs (roe), is considered a delicacy. A tiny little jar will cost you at least $10. However, that tiny little jar will go a long way if you plan a judicious menu.
Caviar comes in red and black and the very best comes from cold Russian waters. The most costly caviar comes from sturgeon from the Caspian Sea, but other fish, such as whitefish and salmon provide less expensive alternatives.
One way to stretch a small amount of caviar is to place a tiny bit on top of the yolks in a batch of deviled eggs. Make your eggs according to your favorite recipe and chill them thoroughly. Chill and drain the caviar and place on top of the eggs just before serving.
This caviar mold from the Los Angeles Times California Cookbook will also make a small amount of caviar go a long way.
1 envelope unflavored gelatin 1/4 C water 1 C sour cream 2 Tbsp mayonnaise 2 Tbsp lemon juice 2 tsp grated onion 1/4 tsp sugar 1 dash hot pepper sauce 4 ounces caviar (lumpfish or white fish) Salt, white pepper 1/2 C sour cream for garnish (about) Parsley sprigs Toast rounds or unsalted crackers
Sprinkle gelatin over water and let stand until softened. Warm 1 cup sour cream over low heat, add gelatin and stir constantly until gelatin melts, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add mayonnaise, lemon juice, onion, sugar and hot pepper sauce, blending well. Place caviar in strainer and rinse carefully with cold water. Shake strainer to remove excess water. Reserve 1 tablespoon caviar. Add remaining caviar to sour cream mixture, stirring gently. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Turn into greased 2-cup mold and chill until firm, about 3 to 4 hours. Unmold on serving plate. Place about 6 tablespoons sour cream on top. Place some of reserved caviar on top of sour cream. Surround with parsley and accompany with toast rounds. Yield: 10 servings
Here in Texas, we often pass on the fish roe entirely and stir up a dish of something we like to call Texas Caviar, a Tex-Mex salsa based on black-eyed peas.
It's best made a couple of days in advance to allow the flavors to meld. Serve with tortilla chips. 1 (15.8-ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained 1-1/2 C chopped fresh tomato 1 C canned white "shoe-peg" corn, drained 1/3 C thinly sliced green onions 3 Tbsp canned chopped mild green chiles 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar or white vinegar 1 Tbsp (about 1 medium-sized) minced seeded jalapeno or serrano chile pepper 1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro 1 tsp olive oil 1/2 tsp ground cumin 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1/2 tsp dried oregano 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp onion powder 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper Fresh cilantro for garnish
In a large bowl, combine black-eyed peas, tomatoes, corn, green onions, mild green chiles, vinegar, jalapenos, cilantro, olive oil, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, salt, onion powder, and cayenne pepper. Stir gently until mixed. Makes 4 cups.
So, whether you use real caviar, or try the Tex-Mex style, enjoy National Caviar Day!