Tarama (Roe) Salad / Taramosalata
This is a popular appetizer in Greece and it is served quite often during the Lent season with toasted pita bread.
1/2 jar (4oz.) Tarama or Mullet Roe 1/4 cup water
1/2 loaf stale white bread juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. very fine minced onion (optional) 1/2 cup olive oil
Soak the stale bread thoroughly and squeeze out the excess water. Pick out the white pieces to make about 11/2 to 2 cups and discard the crust.
Put the Tarama in a bowl and crush the little eggs with the back of a spoon. Slowly mix in the water and add the pieces of bread while continuously crushing and mixing. Alternately add small amounts of oil and lemon, mixing until it has all been incorporated and stir in the onion. The Taramosalata should be smooth and salmon pink in color.
Susies Note: You can use your mixer for this instead of using a spoon. Some people also prefer to use fresh boiled potatoes that have been mashed instead of the bread. Try it both ways and see what you like.
Strictly speaking "tarama" is the caviar/roe, what you
are talking about is "taramosalata. "
The recipe I have been using is from "Cooking with Fish
and Shellfish" by Ruth Spear, Ballantine, NY, 1980. It
is a lot like making mayonnaise and goes basically like
this (for 2.5 cups): Soak three slices of de-crusted
white bread in some water, squeeze out the water. Blend
5 oz. tarama with 2 tbsp. minced onion until pureed,
but not liquid. Blend the soaked bread. Add 1 egg yolk
and blend again. Pour 1 cup of oil in a slow steady
stream (think mayonnaise). The book recommends olive
oil, but I find that too heavy and use sunflower oil.
Control the consistency by blending in more de-crusted
bread if the mixture is too liquid.
You can use well-boiled potatoes instead of the bread
or any other starchy base (I have tried beans, but
don't recommend it) It is important not to overblend
and leave a fair amount of the roe intact. You can get
the roe in jars in any respected Greek/Middle
Eastern food supplier (in downtown Brooklyn, NY any of
the stores on Atlantic Ave. will have it), Krinos is
one of the brands. Note that you can also get the
taramosalata, in similar jars to the tarama. Krinos
makes a decent taramosalata, some of the other brands
can be too salty or have a funny consistency. I
recommend tasting some of the pre-blended stuff and
reading their ingredients before you start making your
own so that you have a reference point.
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