This is a quick and elegant appetizer but not exactly simple. You have to be careful in handling the very delicate ingredients used in this recipe: caviar and raw sturgeon fish, one of the most valuable of all harvested fish in the world. Caviar is processed sturgeon roe and is considered a luxury food because of its rarity and exquisite taste. In this recipe, Orient Express chef Christian Bodiguel demonstrates how to prepare a sturgeon carpaccio dressed with caviar cream sauce and garnished with dill and cherry tomatoes. In the Orient Express, they usually serve this extravagant appetizer with some champagne or vodka depending on the client’s taste.
Traditionally, carpaccio refers to thinly sliced raw beef served with a mayonnaise or olive oil dressing. In this version, sturgeon fish is used. Sturgeon has a firm meaty texture that has a delicate taste and all of its good flavors are fully experienced when eaten raw in this fashion, marinated in olive oil and lemon. The raw fish must be sliced thinly so that they are easier to eat and digest. Only the freshest sturgeon can be used for this recipe, otherwise you or your guests will have stomach problems.
The three most popular kinds of caviar come from three different kinds of sturgeons: Beluga, Osetra, and Sevruga. Beluga sturgeons produce the largest eggs and the rarest and most expensive kind of caviar, which range from gray to black in color. Osetra caviar has a stronger flavor with a color that ranges from yellowish gray to dark brown, the rarest and most valuable of which is the gold Osetra, also known as “royal caviar.” Sevugra is the most abundant and most affordable of all three and also the smallest type of caviar and the briniest flavor with a color ranging from gray to black.
Slice the sturgeon into small and thin carpaccio pieces. Coat in mixture of olive oil and lemon seasoned with salt and pepper. Marinate for a few minutes.
In the meantime, prepare the caviar. Place some caviar on a plate and pour some cream gently, blending the two with the bottom of a spoon and making gentle circular motions.
Arrange the marinated fish slices on the plate. Place some cream and caviar around the fish gradually, tracing the lines of the fish with a small spoon to make a beautiful arrangement. Decorate with dill and cherry tomatoes and serve.