by Kate Heyhoe
Festive but Faux Caviars
Mention holiday elegance and certain images come to mind... a gift of sterling silver from Tiffany, in the classic blue box with white ribbon... a bottle of Moet Chandon poured into slender champagne flutes, shimmering with tiny, sparkling bubbles... And a cut crystal bowl bearing dark, shiny beads of beluga caviar, chilling on ice.
Not everyone agrees that actually eating caviar is sheer heaven - some loathe the crunchy explosion of salty, squishy fish eggs in their mouth. Not me—I think caviar is just grand! But I have to admit, the best stuff ain't always in my budget.
Even if real caviar isn't in your New Year's or post-Christmas plans, play upon the image it evokes by hosting a "Faux Caviar Party" (faux meaning fake in French). Cultures from around the world have created dishes that don't include real caviar but nonetheless borrow the name for their titles, as if to say "this stuff is just as elegant and classy as the real thing." These fake caviars (made using ingredients like eggplant, beans or olives) barely resemble the taste of true caviar, but they can be just as festive and tantalizing.
For a holiday celebration bursting with flavors that don't break your budget, serve this trio of faux caviars:Exquisite Eggplant Caviar, a mild, lemony spread, laden with crunchy pine nuts
Lone Star Caviar, a New Year's tradition made with spiced up black-eyed peas, courtesy of Dallas Morning News' Dottie Griffith from her tasty new book, The Texas Holiday Cookbook
Mediterranean Black Olive Caviar, finely chopped black olives mixed with garlic, anchovies, basil, orange and savory spices.Serve all of these with toast points, crackers, or small breads. To take the mimicry even further, set out small bowls of finely minced parsley, hard-cooked egg whites and egg yolks (served separately), minced onion and lemon wedges—traditional accompaniments to true caviar (although dedicated caviar maniacs eat the best stuff au natural, on toast points, with nothing else to mask the delicate flavors).
December Kate's Global Kitchen
Weekend Salmon Gravlax
...and Last Minute Gift Suggestions
Copyright © 1998, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.
This page created 1998 and modified November 2006.