How to Make:
Smoked Seafood, Caviar, and Oyster Charcuterie Board
Board, photography, & video by The Briny Babe: a local oyster and aquaculture journalist that takes gorgeous photos, writes great articles, and even produces awesome video.
Charcuterie boards are always crowd-pleasers. Traditionally created with cured meats, and delightful cheeses, we decided to construct a seafood-themed charcuterie board using some gorgeous smoked seafood products, an array of caviar, and, of course, some oysters from SoPo Seafood, a seafood distributor hailing from South Portland, Maine. We like to add in some pickled vegetables, and citrus accompaniments to compliment the smokiness of the seafood with some brightness, brine, and acidity. Add in some crackers and crispy toast points, and you have a delicious smoked seafood charcuterie board that your guests would love to enjoy.
Our smoked seafood products in this recipe come from Grindstone Neck, a family-owned and operated smokehouse located in Winter Harbor, Maine. One of my favorite things about Grindstone Neck is that absolutely no sweeteners or preservatives are used in the smoking process.
- Smoked Salmon: Our featured smoked salmon is a high-quality Scottish Atlantic salmon that has been certified organically-fed.
- Smoked Mussels: These are rope-grown mussels grow in cold, nutrient-rich water, before they are smoked with a cherry-blend hardwood smoke. These mussels are deliciously meaty, and retain a savory nutty flavor.
- Smoked Scallops: Grindstone Neck smokes these wonderfully sweet and succulent Bay Scallops in a cherry and maple-blend hardwood smoke.
- Smoked Shrimp: These petite Atlantic shrimp are smoked with a cherry-blend hardwood smoke, and retain a savory “pop” of meatiness.
- Smoked Salmon Dip: This smoked salmon dip from Grindstone Neck contains a combination of the smoke house’s delectable smoked Scottish Atlantic Salmon, flavored with some lemon juice and scotch, for some added savoriness.
- Caviar: Caviar always brings the party to any dinner party, and it is the perfect accompaniment for our smoked seafood charcuterie board. We used a 2 oz jar of Salmon Roe for a “pop” of smokiness, and several jars of Hackleback Caviar , which has a deliciously briny yet clean flavor profile that pairs exceptionally well with smoked seafood and, of course, oysters.
- Oysters: Whether you are eating them naked, pairing them with a dollop of caviar, or adorning them in pickled vegetables, oysters are as delicious as they are visually stunning on this charcuterie board. We used Merritt Island Oysters from our friend Jordi St. John, who raises these bivalves on the New Meadows River near Brunswick Maine. We love Merritt Island Oysters because they have a unique oceanic sweetness that accompanies their quintessential Maine brininess.
Pickled vegetables add a bright acidic brine, a pop of color, and a delightful crunch to compliment the smokiness of your seafood. There are endless vegetables you can pickle for your board, and we like to choose a combination of vegetables that bring an array of colors to your board. In this recipe, I used:
Red Onions: I used half of a red onion, thinly sliced, and separated the individual onion rings before placing them into a mason jar.
Beets and Eggs: I love the beautiful magenta-hue that hard-boiled eggs obtain when they are soaked in beet juice. I hard-boiled three eggs, and combined it with half a can of sliced beets, with the the juice reserved and added in a mason jar with the eggs and sliced beets.
Radishes: I quartered five radishes and added them to a mason jar in preparation for the pickling.
Carrots: I sliced my carrots roughly 1/4 inch thick on a bias, combining two orange and two yellow carrots. Caution: If using purple carrots, pickle these in a separate mason jar from yellow and orange carrots, as the purple carrots will dye the pickling solution as they process.
Once you have all of your vegetables prepped, I add the following into the mason jars with the chopped vegetables before adding the pickling solution:
Dill: I add a few sprigs of dill into the mason jars to impart some brightness and vegetal flavors into the pickling process.
Mustard Seeds: Yellow mustard seeds are pretty mellow-tasting, a little spicy and slightly sweet
Coriander Seeds: Coriander seeds are the plant's dried fruit, which can be used whole or ground. Its flavor is earthy, tart, and sweet with a floral aroma that releases when toasted.
For a super simple pickling recipe, I use:
1 cup of apple cider vinegar
1 cup of water
1/2 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons of salt
I combine all of these ingredients in a saucepan on the stove top, and bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Once the pickling mixture begins to boil, I turn the heat “off.” The mixture can then be poured over the mason jars containing the prepared vegetables. Once added to the vegetables, I let the pickling solution come to room temperature before placing the mason jars in the refrigerator overnight.
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- Caper Berries (my favorite!)