Tag Archives: capers

Caponata with Israeli Couscous and Spinach and Feta Meatballs in a Yellow Tomato Sauce

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Remember the eggplant I bought a couple days ago? While we’ve been slowly eating leftovers, I’ve been devising my eggplant plan. What did I come up with? Jamie Oliver’s “Incredible Sicilian Aubergine Stew,” also known as caponata. I am also making Spinach and Feta Meatballs to go alongside.

Deviations: 

  • Used kalamata olives
  • Used balsamic vinegar
  • Used 1 red bell pepper
  • Used 2 zucchini and only 1 eggplant

Ingredients:

• olive oil
• An eggplant, cut into
large chunks
• teaspoon dried oregano
• kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 small red onion, peeled and finely
chopped
• 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
• a small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley,
leaves picked and stems finely chopped
• 2 tablespoons  capers
• a handful of kalamata olives
• 2–3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 5 large ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
•  2 tablespoons slivered almonds, lightly toasted

Method:

In order to make sure that my eggplant and zucchini were browned and toasty, I did several batches. I think I fried four pans full of eggplant and zucchini–and I’m glad I did. The roasted flavor really came through in the final dish. Between each pan full, I dumped it into a plate to rest.

When I was done doing the eggplant and zucchini in batches, I added them all back to the frying pan and added a bunch of dried oregano. I sauteed this for awhile, then I added the onion, red bell pepper, garlic, and parsley stems to the pan.

Five or ten minutes later (I really let this cook down quite a bit), I added olives, capers, and vinegar. Then the chopped tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste. I cranked it up for about five minutes, then lowered the heat and put a lid on it.

 While the caponata was simmering away, I began making the meatballs.

Spinach and Feta Meatballs in a  Yellow Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound hamburger
  • oregano, marjoram, thyme, rosemary
  • salt and pepper
  • breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • spinach, microwaved and squeezed dry
  • feta cheese

I hand mixed these ingredients together and pan fried the meatballs, a few at a time. When all of the meatballs were done, I took them out of the pan and let them rest on a plate. I drained the grease from the frying pan and added a pint of yellow cherry tomatoes. I let the tomatoes cook until they burst, gave them a drink of wine, and let them reduce for a couple minutes.

Then, I put the meatballs back in the pan with the sauce and let them simmer with a lid on for a few more minutes.

While everything was simmering away, I made a cup of Israeli couscous.

When the couscous was done, I poured a good deal of the yellow tomato sauce into it to finish it off.

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Chicken Piccata

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Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • flour
  • egg white
  • some combination of white wine, chicken stock, and lemon juice (I wasn’t happy with the ratios I came up with. I didn’t change Giada’s recipe much, but the sauce was just too sour for me. The boyfriend says it tastes like normal piccata sauce, but…)
  • 1/4 cup of capers
  • 1/4 of an onion, minced finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • spaghetti
  • ricotta
  • parsley and basil

Explanation:

So, I started by pan frying the chicken breasts, after dredging them in the egg white and flour. When they were mostly done, I took them from the pan and rested them on a plate. Then, I sauteed the onion and garlic in the pan I fried the chicken in. I also added a bit of the dredging flour to the pan after the onions were soft. Next, I added the lemon juice-wine-stock combination, along with the capers. I reduced the sauce, tasted it, and wasn’t terribly excited with how sour it was.  I scowled and pouted a bit,  but the boyfriend insisted that it tasted like it was supposed to.

While the sauce reduced, I boiled some pasta. When it was done, I added a few tablespoons of ricotta and the herbs to the noodles, along with a few tablespoons of the piccata sauce.

With the sauce finished, chicken resting, tomatoes out of the oven, and pasta made, I plated everything. I’d definitely make this again. I think I prematurely freaked out about messing up the meal before I even finished it. I ended up spooning some of the sauce over the chicken that I sliced and it was actually pretty delicious. As long as I didn’t drench everything in that sauce, it was fine. More of an accent than anything–a pungent brightness that tied everything together.

Too Busy to Blog (Sunday Menu/Interesting Food Links, News, and Recipes)

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I haven’t had a weekend cooking marathon in about a month.  Instead, we have been eating lots of sandwiches.  And burgers from Wendy’s (still need to explain about my lapse in vegetarianism).

Tonight, I will cook, I think.  I found a recipe from one of my favorite food blogs: Closet Cooking.  Every recipe this blogger makes speaks to me.  One of my favorite features of this blog is the blogger’s tendency to use one special ingredient in several different ways throughout the week.  Kimchi, for example, was one of his recipes and then many of the following recipes were fusion-type recipes that used kimchi in super creative ways.

There are many more and it’s fun to watch the wheels turn in this blogger’s mind as he tries to repurpose bold ingredients.

When he was on a peanut sauce kick, we saw gems such as:

His fusion recipes are fun, but he also makes a wide range of authentic dishes from different countries as well.  So for every riff on a quesadilla he creates, he also has a recipe someone’s grandma would cook in that given country.

So, tonight I will make his latest recipe:  Tuna and Caper Tomato Pasta.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.

In other news, here are the best food links of the week: