Both species from Sturgeon Aquafarms — sevruga and sterlet — are relatively lean. I tried multiple cooking methods to see which one is the best for my taste — grilling, frying, smoking, boiling, and baking/roasting. The last one was the most awarding. I call it baking/roasting because of the oven, but it is cooked in moist heat. The fish is covered all the time (more like in a dutch oven), and it cooks in its own juice and steam, which is the best for it. The vegetables are arranged around it, share the same cooking method, and absorb the same flavors. This cooking method unlocks the best in this fish in terms of flavor and texture.
Those who are familiar with Georgian and Azerbaijani cuisines can easily identify the origins of this recipe. In Georgia, kefalia, a small trout from the mountains of Adjara is stuffed with walnut paste seasoned and adorned with aromatics and herbs and roasted in a clay pot ketsi. A similar way of stuffing and roasting fish (and also poultry and eggplants) is known as Lavangi — a popular festive dish of Azerbaijani cuisine.
This casserole is a celebration of vegetables! Look at the list of ingredients. Their variety is stunning! That’s why the complexity of this dish flavors conquers the taste buds of vegetarians and carnivores alike. Just like any other layered dish, benefits from being cooked in advance, set in a refrigerator for a few hours and reheated portioned right before serving. It helps to develop flavors and keep colorful layers presentable.
Just like Bizet’s Carmen, a goose has it all: a memorable juicy meat and a haunting golden skin, a terrific variety of textures and flavors, a romance with highs and lows of heat, and a painful tragedy of the amount of fat.