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Spinach Salad w-Anchovy Dressing

Don’t let the word “anchovy” send you over the bend. It’s the salty, spicy deliciousness hidden in many foods. The recipe is based upon one found in The Best of Food & Wine (1984). This salad is one of my favorites. It goes together very, very quickly. The salad is dressed with warm dressing.

Ingredients:

1 lb. fresh spinach, rinsed, dried and trimmed

3 hard-cooked eggs, sliced

½ lb. mushrooms, sliced

8 slices cooked bacon, crumbled

1 2-oz. can flat anchovy fillets, with 1 tsp. of the oil

3 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. sesame oil

2-1/2 Tbsp. red-wine vinegar

2 tsp. capers

1-1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

Place the spinach into a very large bowl. Scatter the egg, mushroom, and bacon pieces across the top.

In a small saucepan, heat the anchovies, anchovy oil, olive oil and sesame oil over moderate heat, stirring until the anchovies dissolve, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the vinegar, capers and mustard.

In a small saucepan, heat the anchovies, anchovy oil, olive oil and sesame oil over moderate heat, stirring until the anchovies dissolve, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the vinegar, capers and mustard.

Bring the dressing to a boil over moderately high heat for about 5 seconds, drizzle over the salad and toss.

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This is a great dish when you’re feeding a crowd. It should be prepared the night before, but I’ve done it just a few hours ahead and it’s still delicious. I also have a similar recipe which uses green olives and no tomatoes. Some day I’ll make and post that one.

Mediterranean Chicken Mancini

Mediterranean Chicken Mancini

2 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into serving size portions (apx. 8 pieces from each breast)

1 cup chopped red onion

4-6 plum tomatoes, chopped or 2 14oz. cans

1 cup pitted prunes

8 cloves garlic, chopped

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

2 Tbsp. oregano

6 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. capers, drained

1 tsp. paprika

4 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

Mix all ingredients together in a 13 x 9″ baking dish. Marinate overnight. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1-1/2 hours. Serves 6-8.

Mix everything together in a 9 x 13″ baking dish. I usually add the chicken last. And this day I didn’t have red onion, only yellow. Still tastes good.

Add the chicken pieces. Marinate overnight. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for an hour and a half.

Mediterranean Chicken Mancini served with Lemon Artichoke Orzo and Eggplant au Gratin.

Pan-Fried Flounder and Quinoa Cakes

Okay. I must first confess. Our neighbors moved to Texas and left us a box of frozen fish. It was supposed to be only salmon, but there was a lot of white fish in the box as well. We are pretty sure that most of the white fish is flounder. We have been eating it and it’s really good. I know at this moment my fishermen friends, of which there are a great many, are trying to contain their derision. “What! Paula, you don’t know?” Sigh. Okay. Lay it on.

Is this flounder? I think so.

A fisherman friend graduated from high school (back in the day) and went to Australia. She worked in a restaurant there for awhile. In Naknek, Alaska, where we both graduated high school, flounder is considered trash fish. That’s because the goal fish is salmon, anything else is a by-product. I remember her saying she couldn’t believe she served flounder to paying customers. “Here’s your flounder,” she’d say while holding it at arm’s length. This has been my flounder impression for forty years, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover how much I liked it.

Pan-Fried Flounder (based on a recipe by Bobby Flay)

4 flounder filets

Salt and pepper

Flour

Butter

Olive Oil

Lemon juice

1 bottle capers

Salt and pepper the flounder filets. Dredge the fish in flour. Heat skillet with butter and olive oil (a couple tablespoons of each) on medium until butter is melted and stops foaming. Fry the flounder until a nice brown, turning only once. It cooks very quickly. [My fish never turns a nice brown because I try to do them all at once in too-small of a skillet.] Remove fish to plate. Add about a tablespoon of butter to the skillet and stir. Don’t worry about any bits left behind, no need to scrape them up, just stir the butter around a little. Add a splash of lemon juice and stir. You’re trying to heat it, not cook it. Add the whole bottle of capers, juice and all. Heat through and drizzle over the fish. Yessiree, this is really good! My husband says we should start putting capers on everything. I could probably go for that.

If you're cutting the filets down and removing bones, don't put a big hole in yours like I did mine. Salt and pepper the filets.

Dredge the filets through flour.

Pan fry

Turn over and fry the other side (about 3 minutes each side).

Drizzle thin caper sauce over fish.

What kind?