by Olga Schafranek |

It's hard to believe Thanksgiving is just a few days away. I love that we have a day dedicated to spending time with family and eating. It's nice to also take the opportunity to be grateful for everything that we have and give to the people that may not have as much. 
I mentioned before that there was a Thanksgiving we all got sick and I put tarragon on the green beans. Not sure what "incident" my family thought was worse. For the record, I thought the Food & Wine November 2015 green bean recipe was delicious. I think Thanksgiving is just a hard holiday to bring in new flavors in recipes. Everyone is very protective of tradition. It took years for my mom to finally convince us that we don't need a first course of butternut squash soup anymore. It was something that was painful to let go, but it also would fill us up so much that we hardly had room for the rest of the meal. I happen to like playing around with recipes, especially if I am helping host (ok...except for my mom's stuffing which I crave all year long). 
Last year was also when my sister and I first started talking about me blogging for Tsar Nicoulai. If I haven't told you before, my insanely talented sister is the design guru for all packaging and promotions at Tsar Nicoulai and she helped me get started here. We were fortunate to have some caviar samples for our Thanksgiving meal and took the opportunity to play around styling dishes and promotional flyers.  
One of the dishes I chose was an onion dip, also from the November 2015 issue of Food and Wine. It makes a beautiful presentation and, in my opinion, fits Thanksgiving so well that I decided to include it this year, as well. 
The onions are roasted whole, peel and all. Once cooled, the tops are cut off, insides scooped out, chopped and mixed with sour cream and mayonnaise. I left out the onion powder from the original recipe, finding it unnecessary. Then you fill the onion shells with the dip, top with caviar and garnish with fennel fronds. It's simple and looks gorgeous. And it tastes great with thin, plain, kettle cooked potato chips. It's a great dish to have out while people are waiting for the main event. Not too rich or filling and just so pretty to look at. 
The Signature Bite for our Classic Caviar happens to be an onion dip so it was the perfect selection for this dish. The dip provides a mild base for this caviar and the jet black color makes the whole thing look like a work of art. Any of our salmon or trout roes would pair beautifully with this appetizer while adding a nice pop of bright color, as well. 
I wish everyone a peaceful and joyous Thanksgiving. 
To those who sacrifice this time with family for their jobs, we thank you.
Na Zdorovye, 
(See recipe below)
Roasted Onion Dip (serves 10-12)
From Food and Wine, November 2015
2 medium unpeeled red onions
2 medium unpeeled Spanish onions
2 medium unpeeled sweet onions
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon onion powder (I omitted this ingredient)
Kosher salt
Salmon, trout, and sturgeon caviar, for serving
Fennel fronds, for garnish
Potato Chips, for serving (preferably Kettle Cooked and unsalted)
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Using a paring knife, trim the bottoms of the onions and stand them in a baking dish. Bake for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, until very soft. Let cool.
2. Using a paring knife, carefully cut 1/2 inch off the top of the onions. Using a small spoon, scoop out all but 2 or 3 layers of the roasted onions to form cups; you should have 2 1/2 cups of pulp. Finely chop the onion pulp and transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in the mayonnaise, sour cream, and optional onion powder and season the dip generously with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes. Keep the onion cups at room temperature.
3. Spoon the onion dip into the onion cups and transfer to a platter. Top the dip with salmon, trout, and sturgeon caviar and garnish with fennel fronds. Serve with potato chips.