I love eggs. Have I mentioned that before? Maybe. Maybe not. But there it is: I love eggs. And not just hen eggs: goose, duck, quail and fish. mmmmmh … fish eggs!
So yesterday whilst at the fish monger (ok, he was technically inside a supermarket, but still a man selling fish, so fishmonger) buying two sea bass I asked him to leave the eggs in them if he happened to find them. As luck would have it, he did!
Home I went, smiling inside: fish eggs! Free!
Not quite sure how to cook them, though. Onto the internet I hopped, looking at various sites that advertised articles on fish roe (the correct name for fish eggs still contained in the ovaries) (yes, it’s a bit yucky but that’s what they are: fish ovaries. And that’s also why they come in pairs, see. ^_^ No use hiding from the truth!) and I found this one – the article is about shad (a kind of river herring) roe but I thought the recipe sounded cool, so here goes!
The polenta is my personal touch. It just so happened that we had eaten polenta the day before and I had kept a small amount to have, fried, as an appetiser the next day. So I thought that a little bit of fried polenta would do perfectly instead of say, bread. Or nothing.
What you do is simple: grab a small pan, add vegetable oil and fry the sliced leftover polenta. The pan must be nonstick, the oil must be hot, and you must leave the polenta to fry more than you think is necessary…or until golden and crunchy ^_^ Set aside (on kitchen paper so the extra oil is absorbed)
Once you’ve done that, get another pan and drizzle some olive oil (with a bit of butter, if you want!). When it’s hot (but not boiling!) simmer the garlic, shallot and parsley. When the shallots are soft, add pepper and salt and then gently lower the roe on the pan. It’s important that the membrane surrounding the eggs doesn’t break – in these photos you can see what happens if the aforesaid fishmonger isn’t as careful as he should be. But best results stem from great care with the roe!
For small roe, such as this one (about 20cm in length) I suggest about three minutes on either side for well-cooked but not dry. I didn’t, but you can try adding some white wine (1/2 a glass) just before you remove the roe.
Remove the roe from the pan, reduce to simmer (or turn off if you’re using an electric stove) and add juice from a 1/4 lemon (or lime). Let it heat, then spoon the sauce over the roe (or in a small dish on the side)…
How do you like your roe? Let me know in the comments below!
(that’s a lot of rhyming there…!)