This is our adaptation of a traditional hors d’oeuvre favorite. It’s a fun way to indulge for a large party, and although it uses quite a bit of caviar, the dish serves up to fifty people at a party, so your investment will go a long way. You can use American Roe such as Paddlefish, or even a combination of different colored roes, laying them out in a fan pattern on the top of the dish.
50 servings as an hors d’oeuvre dish
½ cup finely diced sweet Vidalia onion
½ cup white wine
2 large ripe avocados
½ teaspoon finely mashed garlic paste
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 8-oz. package cream cheese
12 hard boiled eggs, separated
¼ cup mayonnaise
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon white pepper
6 ounces caviar
Begin preparations for this dish the day before you plan to serve it. Soften the cream cheese at room temperature. Cook the diced onions and white wine in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce until the wine is completely cooked off, about 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool completely, then stir into the softened cream cheese until mixed well. Cover and refrigerate.
[Chef’s Note: I’ve prepared this layer with our purple champagne onions as well, so feel free to substitute.]
Mash the avocados, mixing with the garlic paste, lime juice, ¼ teaspoon salt and black pepper, mixing very well. Cover and refrigerate.
Peel the eggs, separating the whites from the yolks. Chop the whites into fine dice and mix with the mayonnaise, ¼ teaspoon of the salt and the white pepper, mixing thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate.
Push the egg yolks through a fine mesh sieve with the back of a metal spoon, or use the fine blade of a food mill. Cover and refrigerate.
When ready to assemble the torte, layer the ingredients in a 6-inch springform pan. Start with the egg white mixture, and smooth the top with a spatula. Next, sprinkle the egg yolks over the whites, and tap down gently until even. Spread the avocado mixture over the egg yolks, and spread the top until even. Next, spread the cream cheese and Vidalia onion mixture, smoothing the top, and press down gently to compress the layers.
At this point, cover the top layer with plastic wrap and chill overnight so that it firms up.
When ready to serve, remove the plastic wrap and spread an even layer of caviar on top of the torte. Place on the serving platter and gently undo the latch of the springform pan, running a knife around the edges to remove the form.
Serve with crackers surrounding the torte on the platter.
Recipe and photo by Mark Tafoya