Thursday, 10 October 2013

CAPERS

Hi peeps!

So today we take a nice look at these salty flowerbuds and what's so cool about them. I love capers; especially with pastas and fish dishes. Pronounce it: ⁠kay-per⁠

Capers are the small flower buds of the Capparis shrub, which grows in the Mediterranean. As they're picked by hand they're fairly pricey but they're a versatile store cupboard ingredient, and are good for adding a distinctive sour/salty flavour to many savoury dishes.

* Availability
All year round.

* Choose the best
Really small, peppercorn-sized capers, called 'nonpareille' are available, but the slightly larger ones are more common. Capers are preserved a number of ways - either in salt, wine vinegar, brine or olive oil. The brine-pickled type has the sharpest flavour and is slightly less versatile than the salted type. For a more sophisticated caper flavour, try the elegantly stemmed caper berries, which are a little milder and sweeter than the standard type.

* Prepare it
Rinse well and pat dry.

* Store it
In a cool, dark place. Once opened, store in the fridge and make sure they keep below the level of whatever they were pickled in, otherwise they'll start to smell.

* Cook it
Combine with white wine vinegar, mustard, honey and lemon juice and mix with grated celeriac to make remoulade; mix with melted butter, lemon juice and zest to make a sauce for grilled salmon; add to pizza toppings; combine with mayonnaise, olive oil, anchovies, tuna and lemon juice for an Italian tonnato sauce to serve with rosé veal.

* Alternatives
Try gherkin.
- photo and passage excerpt extracted from Good Food.com.

FISH WITH CITRUS CAPER SAUCE - recipe and photo from steamykitchen.com.
Ingredients:
1 fish fillet (or 1/3 pound shrimp), patted very dry
salt and pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 orange (slice 1/4 of the orange into thin slices, the rest will be used for juice)
1/2 lemon (slice 1/4 of the lemon into thin slices, the rest will be used for juice)
1 teaspoon capers (drained)
2 tablespoons white wine
2 teaspoons butter

Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper. Add olive oil to a hot skillet* and sear the fish fillet on one side.

*I like using a wok when cooking. It gives me the flexibility to cook for one or 8 people – look at all the available surface for cooking!

When you begin to see the color change from opaque to white creep up to halfway up the sides of the fillet, flip the fish over.

Add in the wine, orange/lemon slices, capers and the butter. Squeeze the remaining orange and lemon juice into the pan. Season sauce with a bit more salt and pepper if you’d like. When the sauce begins to bubble, turn heat to medium-low and cook until the fish is cooked through, about 1-2 mins; throw in the fresh parsley and you're done.

And that's all we have time for today! Hope you've enjoyed your time here on the chef mother and thanks again to all who have subscribed to; and view the blog every day. You have no idea how much you are appreciated.
Big big thanks. :)

*piquant buddy hugs*
Chef Shants xxxxx

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