The big night is coming, and whether 2011 was good to you or if it was a year you're happy to see in the rearview mirror, you'll have a chance to bid it farewell in style. Champagne, or some other sparkling wine is the beverage of choice, and nothing goes better with the bubbly than caviar.
Caviar, from Russia and Iran, has always been frightfully expensive. And given our rotten relations with Iran, most Americans wouldn't consider buying it. Luckily, there are American alternatives. Here, we use sturgeon, paddlefish, bowfin, salmon, trout and whitefish roe. The quality has gotten very high, and prices are more than reasonable. Prices start at about $11 an ounce for salmon. Look for a brand called American Caviar at www.caviarcaviar.com.
A great way to enjoy caviar is to whip up a mess of blinis - the little crepe-like flat cakes - top them with a dab of creme fraiche, and spoon on the fish eggs.