Luxury 101

Caviar, caperberries and other posh ingredients add instant opulence to simple dishes

At the holidays we all want to be the bearer of good things. Luxurious epicurean gifts--a tin of caviar, a bottle of grappa--are as tasteful as they are useful. And if a gift comes with a recipe that showcases it, all the better. A bag of exotic dried Chilean wild mushrooms can be mixed with bread crumbs and Marsala to transform a pork chop or a chicken breast into something spectacular. A bottle of nutty pumpkin seed oil is the key to a vinaigrette that dresses up plain grilled shrimp or steamed vegetable dumplings. The recipes that follow are simple ones, but they'll make stars of the gifts you give.

PUBLISHED December 1998