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Smoked Roe

Taramasalata (Fish Roe Dip)

Serves about 4
4 thick slices stale white bread
1/4 c. plus 2 tbsp. cold milk.
1/2 cup smoked fish roe
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 small onion, finely minced
Juice of 1-2 lemons, to taste
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. olive oil

Remove the crust and soak the bread in the cold milk. Meanwhile, beat the roe thoroughly in a mortar or in a blender until it is soft. Squeeze the bread dry and crumble into the roe. Add the garlic and onion, half the lemon juice and beat (or blend) to a creamy paste. When it is smooth, break in the egg yolk and continue to beat or blend while dribbling in the olive oil and the rest of the lemon juice. Chill and serve as a dip with whole radishes, black olives, celery stalks, and Arab bread. Most taramasalata sold commercially is artificially colored and tastes nothing like the homemade version. It keeps for about 10 days in a sealed container in the refrigerator.