Sometimes being a forager and lover of wild foods means that you have to deal with an embarrassment of riches. Case in point - I ate acorn blini topped with creme fraiche and homemade caviar for breakfast.
When I'm out wildcrafting, especially in the city, I routinely get mocked and called crazy. Often loudly.
S'all good, though. I'm happy for people to continue to think I'm nuts, that I'm scraping by eating weeds and twigs and berries. It simply means more good eats for me. Just look at that picture, and tell me I'm not crazy like a fox.
If you decide to collect and process acorns, I highly recommend making these blini. These little pancakes are the perfect way to highlight the dark sweetness of acorn. They taste reminiscent of bread made with barley malt.
1 c. acorn flour*
2 Tbsp. melted butter
3/4 c. milk
1/4 tsp salt
Combine all ingredients well. Let batter sit for 10 minutes to absorb the moisture. Add additional milk, if necessary, to make it the consistency of cake batter.
Drop small spoonfuls onto a griddle set to a medium-low temp. Let the blini cook on the first side until they dry up slightly and bubbles start to come through. Flip, and let cook on the second side until lightly browned.
At this time of year, many of the freshly caught trout that make it into my kitchen have eggs, and I don't pass the chance to make caviar. Since I only ever process small amounts, I simply strips the eggs from their skeins with my fingers, which is a process that takes some patience. I once watched a tv show that spotlighted a commercial caviar operation, and they passed their fish eggs through perfect-sized mesh screen. I don't have and screen the size of trout roe around, so I carefully pull the eggs off the membrane and into a bowl of water with my fingers, being careful not to pop them. Next I drain the water and give the eggs another rinse with cold water. I drain off as much water as I can, but don't try to dry them. The final step is to sprinkle the eggs with some sugar and salt. I never use exact proportions, although I do use less sugar than salt. To achieve the correct amount of sugar and salt, add more than you would if you were seasoning some food on your dinner plate, but not enough so that the eggs are positively crusty with seasoning. Give the eggs a stir to make certain they are evenly coated with sugar and salt, cover them, and let them cure in the refrigerator for at least two hours before serving.
Pour a cup of cream into a mason jar. Add a tablespoon of buttermilk. Cover, and let it sit at room temperature for 24-36 hours, or until slightly thickened and tangy-smelling. Refrigerate.
*I'd like to send out a big thank you to Ken Albala for sending me his delicious white oak acorn flour.
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I'm sharing this post with Pennywise Platter Thursday, Fight Back Friday, and Real Food Wednesday. Follow the links for more lovely recipes and tips.