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Friday, Oct 31, 2014
Health & Fitness

Serve your Valentine a bundle of love (and caviar)


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Just in time for Valentine’s Day, here’s a luxurious little treat to make and serve at home that may bring to mind your most elite restaurant thrills. It’s based on the beggar’s purse, a signature appetizer at the Quilted Giraffe, a groundbreaking ‘80s-era New York City restaurant.

The beggar’s purse was a voluptuous serving of Beluga caviar and sour cream spooned onto the center of a crepe, the ends of which were then gathered up and tied with a bow of chive. The resulting little bag with the pleats at the top looked like a purse, but there was nothing beggarly about its contents. It was rich in all ways.

Caviar has been considered a decadent treat for ages. About 200 years ago, the United States produced so much of it, saloons used to give it away for free with a glass of beer. That changed, of course. And as true sturgeon caviar (considered the very best) has become rarer, the price has become steeper.

In recent decades, American-made caviar has made a comeback. And the quality is excellent. You can find several American sturgeon caviars as well as many fish roes, such as salmon, trout, whitefish, paddlefish and bowfin.

This recipe is a Russian-leaning variation on the Quilted Giraffe original. I’ve replaced the crepes with blini, the buckwheat pancakes on which the Russians serve caviar. I’ve also swapped in low-fat sour cream for the full-fat variety, and added smoked salmon to bulk up the protein. It’s still plenty rich.

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