By Nancy Ellison
Decades ago when the Soviet Union was indeed Soviet, Russian Writer/Director Andrei Konchalovsky - AKA Andron to his friends – magically washed ashore onto the beaches of Malibu and promptly fell in love with Shirley MacLaine, who was certain she knew him in a previous life. In order to send American dollars to his brother Nikita Mikhalkov back in Moscow, Andron would smuggle in huge amounts of Russian Beluga caviar and together we would divide it up into Mason Jars and sell it at half the price of stores in Beverly Hills. We did loose product, however - not from breakage but from “devourage.” The joy of meting out Caviar from my kitchen in Malibu Colony was that we doled out caviar– we scoffed caviar–we doled – we scoffed. Cool huh!
Mostly we would simply eat it from the super-sized tin with little mother-of-pearl-spoons, but sometimes I would make Beluga Caviar Burritos. Yes, B*U*R*R*I*T*O*S.
A few summers ago, Andron came to visit us in Martha’s Vineyard. As a house gift he brought us Caviar - though not quite as much as in the old days. His request? Caviar Burritos. He too could not forget those days!
Gobs of Beluga Caviar (OK OK, so now we will use a delicious Black River Caviar... but, it must still be gobs.)
Flour tortillas
Finely chopped onion to taste
Sour Cream
Lemon optional
Lightly butter one side of the tortilla and gently warm and soften it on a grill set at a low to medium heat. Turn off the heat and flip it over. Add more butter. While the tortilla is still on the grill, immediately spoon in gobs of caviar, chopped onion, lemon and sour cream to taste. Roll as one would a traditional burrito.
More practical - though not as indulgent - caviar quesadillas with flour tortillas would be great for parties.
Nancy Ellison is an award-winning photojournalist and portrait photographer. Books of her photographs are displayed proudly on coffee tables around the world. She is a patron of the arts and has a deep appreciation for all things magical… Including food! Nancy Ellison has always loved cooking. She began her career as a 5-year-old when she surprised her parents and older brother with a wild celery soup made from weeds from the vacant lot next door to her Toluca Lake home. She followed that culinary moment when she discovered a recipe calling for meadow larks in The Alice B Toklas Cookbook while in college and tried to buy them at a local grocery store. She actually got serious when she took Dione Lucus’ Cordon Bleu classes where she learned to skin a chicken in one piece without a knife, a skill she promptly forgot. She has written food stories and recipes for Nora and Amy Ephron’s E-Zine One for the Table.