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Posts Tagged ‘capers’

I’ll admit the thought of a fish stew didn’t immediately grab me for a fun weeknight in the kitchen. But upon closer inspection of this recipe, the layers of Mediterranean flavors were very intriguing: garlic, artichoke hearts, capers, green olives, white wine and tomatoes. Wow.

Served over couscous, it didn’t disappoint.  Fresh lemon juice and chopped ginger, cumin and basil, crushed red pepper. So many flavors that intertwine to create a zesty, light — and healthy! — dish.  Tilapia was on sale at the market and it worked out perfectly here.  Give this one a try.

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polentachicken

Quick-cooking polenta is the key to these perfectly crispy pan-fried organic chicken breasts. The thin layer of ground cornmeal and flour, clinging to the egg-washed chicken, turns golden brown in just 5-6 minutes over medium high heat.

Deglaze the pan with a little olive oil, tomato paste, balsamic and capers to create a tangy sauce that complements the salty, crunchy chicken.  To round out the meal, try some pan-roasted brussel sprouts and carrots, tossed in a little olive oil and cider vinegar and lightly seasoned with salt and pepper.

sproutscarrots

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I highly recommend this menu for a Saturday or Sunday evening family dinner at home. We enjoyed the meal last night, outside on the patio, with clear skies, cool temps, and low humidity.  Might as well have been in the south of France on an autumn night!  Perfect atmosphere for a meal of garden-fresh, seasonal herbs and vegetables and a grilled, savory meat.

The Menu: caprese platter with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, proscuitto and yellow pepper; fresh gnocchi with pesto; charcoal-grilled sirloin steak with green sauce; steamed French-style string beans; fresh crusty bread; & red wine.

Caprese Platter

Caprese platter

Fresh potato gnocci with pesto

Fresh potato gnocchi with pesto

The green sauce, courtesy of Saveur Magazine, provided an intense and savory flavor to the grilled sirloin. It consisted of fresh parsley, anchovy, fresh garlic, capers, red wine vinegar and olive oil.

Grilled sirloin with green sauce

Grilled sirloin with green sauce

I prepared the “sauce” as written, and it was incredibly salty.  I recommend at least halving the number of anchovies and halving the amount of oil.

Fresh parsley, garlic, anchovy and capers

Fresh parsley, garlic, anchovy and capers

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One of the first “gourmet” entrees my mom taught me how to make is chicken piccata. I remember her extolling the ease of preparation and suitability for a one-person meal, and how right she was! I have fond memories of making it several times when I was living alone in London and cooking for myself regularly for the first time. Makes great leftovers.

The flavors are very light and tasty – a good summer meal. And one of the things I love most about this dish is the tangy lemon-caper sauce.

Start by tenderizing two or three chicken breasts by pounding them out to a quarter-inch thickness between two sheets of wax paper. Then, season with salt and pepper before dredging in flour and shaking off the excess. Lightly fry the cutlets in one tablespoon of oil over medium high heat, about three minutes per side.

Then the chicken is cooked through, remove from the pan and add half a cup of chicken stock, fourth a cup of white wine, fourth a cup of lemon juice and a fourth cup of drained capers. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce by half. Scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen brown bits from the chicken for extra flavor. I also season with salt and pepper to taste.

After about two or three minutes, remove sauce from the heat. Plate the chicken and pour sauce on top, garnishing with fresh chopped Italian parsley.

-Devin

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This is a fantastic dish, compliments of the Pax Christi church cookbook. (Thanks, Auntie Mary Ann!)

The pan-sauteed chicken is topped with a zesty fresh tomato sauce made with fresh basil and capers. Mashed potatoes and a spinach salad were excellent accompaniments.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 large garlic cloves, chopped

1/2 cup dry white wine

6 Roma or plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped

3/4 cup chicken broth

2 tablespoons capers

6 large basil leaves cut in thin strips

(1) Trim chicken. Using a meat mallet, lightly pound chicken between sheets of wax paper to 1/2 inch thickness. 

(2) Mix flour, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Coat chicken. 

(3) Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook through until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a platter and keep warm.

(4) Add garlic and wine to skillet and stir up any brown bits in the bottom of the pan. Cook for about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and chicken broth, bring to a boil, and reduce the liquid by about half. This should take about 5 minutes. Stir in capers and basil and heat through, another minute.

(5) Pour sauce over the chicken and serve. 

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