Taramasalata, Spearfishing and Invasive Species
Trash fish or actually really good eating and a plentiful food source?
Pretty much any fish you eat from yucky polluted waters is going to taste yuk. I'm still not sure what the big prejudice is against carp. I just speared 4 more on another trip to Lake Powell and cooked one up fresh with just some grass fed butter and cajun seasoning and it had a super good flavor (nothing muddy or even fishy) and great texture.
The thing is, they are an invasive, destructive to the aquatic ecosystems and compete for resources with native species. There's a lot of them out there that need to come out of our waters. No you don't get as much meat as you would think for the size of the fish, but, great news!, there's plenty out there and chuck the carcass in yer compost for fertile fishy magic.
Some of the ones I have speared have come with beautiful roe sacks. The one pictured below weighed in at 2 pounds.
Roe is one of the very few food sources for Vitamin D, it's full of Omega-3 fats, B12 and is rich in Selenium which is hard to get from foods other than seafood and brazil nuts, yet is important for thyroid health and serves as a powerful antioxidant.
I washed up the roe sacks and put into the freezer until I could find the best way to enjoy these little beads of fatty goodness.
This brings me to Taramasalata.
Thank you Greek culture for this one. Taramasalata is a spread traditionally made from the salted and cured roe of carp, cod or grey mullet.
Interestingly it didn't taste the least bit fishy. In fact I was surprised at how incredibly tasty it was.
I did a little bit of altering to the traditional way to circumnavigate curing the roe and to make it gluten free.
So here is how it went:
3/4 cup of carp roe poached 2-3 minutes in a little water and 2 teaspoons of alderwood smoked salt
1 small organic potato boiled.
Handful of nut based crackers soaked in raw goat milk.
In the food processor goes:
1/2 a grated medium onion
2 garlic cloves
1 bunch of parsley
1/2 cup of olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
ground pepper to taste
Pulse the above ingredients, then add potato, soggy crackers and roe
Blend until smooth-ish.
Serve as a spread with veggies and crackers.