Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Capers’

Chicken Cacciatore

We were missing all the family and friends we were supposed to be with on Easter Sunday but had fun with an Easter egg hunt, Quiche Lorraine for lunch and this for dinner, which was truly delicious. Served with Italian-style roast potatoes, plus we pulled the rest of the chicken off the bones and stirred into the sauce for pasta another day. Our little bunny has already claimed the leftovers for her dinner for the rest of the week.

Wine Suggestion: As it was Easter and we wanted to have something special with dinner … off to the small cellar of hoarded wines we went. The first Italian we came across was chosen, and though we knew it wasn’t cheap, we’d purchased it many years ago at a very good price. We very much enjoyed the Sassicaia 2008. A classic wine of the world, made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, and drinking truly fabulously now. Interestingly it was the vintage that had no “signature” head winemaker at the winery; well done those cellar hands and winery workers who just made the wine as it should be! Ignore the price if you have one and just enjoy this wine as a special event like we did. Lucky us, and pity we only had a single bottle.

Chicken cacciatore – serves 4

  • 1 large chicken jointed into 8, we used 8 chicken thighs
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 70g pancetta cubes – didn’t have these so cut some thick-cut back bacon into strips
  • a glass of red wine, about 200ml
  • 2 x 400g tins of cherry tomatoes or tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
  • 10 black olives, pitted and halved
  • a handful of basil leaves

When you get your chicken home, remove all the packaging and season it generously with salt, then put back into the fridge until ready to cook. If, like us, you had the chicken in the freezer and forgot to season, take it out of the fridge and season with salt, then leave out of the fridge for 30 minutes before you start cooking.

Before you start to cook, season the chicken all over with some black pepper.

Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the chicken until golden all over. You will probably need to do this in two batches. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Add the onions and garlic and cook gently until soft. Add the pancetta (or bacon substitute) and continue to cook for another few minutes.

Add the glass of wine to the pan and simmer until almost evaporated, then add the tomatoes and plenty of seasoning. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the sauce is thickened. Stir in the capers and olives.

Heat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5.

Tip the sauce into an ovenproof dish that can fit the chicken in a single layer. Lay the chicken pieces into the sauce, leaving the skin exposed. Cook in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until cooked through. Stir in the basil and serve.

(Original recipe by Lulu Grimes & Janine Ratcliffe in Olive Magazine, April 2012)

Read Full Post »

Fishcakes with Tartare Velouté

These are definitely a bit fancier than your average fishcake. Jam-packed with fish, not too much potato, and a stunning sauce. We’ve put a few in the freezer and can’t wait to have them again. The recipe is by Tommy Banks, of The Black Swan in Oldstead, and he suggests serving a poached egg on top. Do as you wish.

Wine Suggestion: We actually had another Jura Chardonnay with this, the Berthet-Bondet, but we’re conscious that these aren’t easy to find. We’d also suggest a sparkling from a cooler climate, especially if it has some autolytic bottle age; or a Chablis, Vermentino or good Albariño.

Luxury fishcakes with tartare velouté – serves 6

FOR THE FISHCAKES:

  • 1 red-skinned potato, about 250g
  • 250g smoked cod or smoked haddock
  • 250g hake
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp English mustard
  • 500ml milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 25g butter
  • nutmeg, for grating
  • ½ lemon, zested and juiced
  • 100g mature cheddar, grated
  • 100g mixed white and brown crabmeat
  • 2 bunches of scallions, finely chopped
  • 100g plain flour
  • 100g panko breadcrumbs
  • 4 tbsp sunflower oil, for frying
  • poached eggs (optional), lemon wedges & pea shoots, to serve

FOR THE TARTARE VELOUTÉ:

  • 25g butter
  • 25g plain flour
  • 50ml double cream
  • squeeze of lemon
  • large handful of parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp capers, chopped

Prick the potato a few times, then bake at 200C/180C fan/Gas 6 for about an hour or until soft.

Scoop the flesh from the potato into a bowl and mash until smooth.

Meanwhile, put the cod or haddock and hake into a large, shallow pan. Add the bay leaves, mustard and milk, and season. Bring to a simmer over a high heat, then cover with a lid, turn off the heat, and leave for 10 minutes.

Put the mash into a large bowl and stir in the egg yolk, butter, a pinch of grated nutmeg, the lemon zest and juice, the cheese, the crab and the scallions. Stir together well, then add 1 tbsp of the poaching milk and some seasoning.

Lift the fish gently from the milk and pour the milk into a jug (throw away the bay leaves). Flake the fish into large pieces and stir gently through the potato mixture. Shape the mixture into 6 fishcakes.

Now put the flour, egg and panko crumbs into 3 separate bowls. Coat each fishcake lightly in flour first, then dip into the egg to cover and finally into the panko crumbs. You want them to be totally covered in the breadcrumbs. You can freeze them now if you like or put into the fridge for cooking later.

To make the sauce, heat the butter in a saucepan until foaming, then stir in the flour. Cook over a low heat for 2 minutes, then gradually add the reserved poaching liquid, stirring all the time. Keep adding liquid until you have a silky sauce, then stir in the cream and leave to simmer gently for 10 minutes. Stir in some lemon juice, parsley, capers and seasoning. Keep warm.

To cook the fishcakes, heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side until dark golden and crispy. A metal skewer into the centre helps to check they’re piping hot, particularly if they’ve spent time in the fridge. You can cook them in batches if easier and keep warm in a low oven.

Serve the fishcakes with plenty of sauce, a handful of pea shoots and a lemon wedge. You can also add a poached egg if you would like.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

 

Read Full Post »

Smoked Haddock & Hollandaise Bake with Dill & Caper Fried Potatoes

We love hollandaise but very rarely make it. This is going to change now we know how to do this cheat’s version. It can be adapted very easily for Béarnaise sauce for steak by adding some fresh tarragon. It’s a revelation!

Wine Suggestion: matching milder haddock and the creamy hollandaise requires a delicate touch and we’d suggest a white with a touch of oak, but not too much. The easiest choice is a Chardonnay which we duly went for; a Château de Beauregard Saint-Véran. Medium bodied, this is made partially in stainless steel and the other half in oak and has a lovely apple, citrus and brioche flavour and a mineral freshness to balance.

Smoked haddock & hollandaise bake with dill & caper fried potatoes – serves 2

  • 150g baby spinach
  • 2 x 140g smoked haddock fillets (boycott the artificially dyed orange stuff)

FOR THE SAUCE:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 100ml double cream, plus a bit extra in case you need to rescue the hollandaise
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar

FOR THE POTATOES:

  • 500g floury potatoes, peeled and chopped into 3cm chunks
  • knob of butter
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil, plus a bit extra
  • 2 shallots, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained
  • small handful of dill, leaves picked
  • 1 lemon, zested, then cut into wedges to serve

Put the potatoes into a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then season with salt, cover with a lid, and simmer for 7-8 minutes or until tender but not falling apart. Drain and leave in the pot to steam dry.

Meanwhile, heat the oil and butter in a frying pan. Add the shallots and fry for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the potatoes and fry for 15 minutes or until crusty and browned.

To make the hollandaise you need to put the egg yolks into a bowl and whisk in the cornflour until smooth. Add the cream and the vinegar, and season well. Pour the sauce into a small saucepan and cook over a very low heat, whisking continuously, until it resembles a hollandaise sauce (like thin custard). If the sauce looks like it’s going to split or it’s getting too hot, just add another splash of cream and keep whisking. Check the seasoning and add a bit more salt or vinegar if needed.

Heat the grill to medium-high.

Heat a splash of oil in an ovenproof frying pan. Add the spinach and stir until just wilted, season with salt and black pepper. Turn the heat off and spread the spinach across the base of the frying pan. Lay the haddock fillets on top of the spinach, then pour over the hollandaise sauce. Put the pan under the grill for about 10 minutes or until the fish is cooked (it should flake easily) and the sauce is browned.

Toss the capers, dill and lemon zest over the cooked potatoes. Serve the potatoes with the fish and put the lemon wedges on the plates to squeeze over.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

Read Full Post »

Fish in Spicy Tomato Sauce with Capers and Olives

It seems like so long since we’ve cooked fresh fish, but tonight was the night. We’ve had Rachel Roddy’s book (Two Kitchens: Family Recipes from Sicily and Rome) for ages now but this has been its first outing (for reasons that we won’t bore you with here). This dish was everything we hoped for – quick for a Friday night but absolutely packed with all the flavours that this family loves. We served with couscous but rice or bread are also suggested. Well done Rachel!

Wine Suggestion: we were seduced by the Sicilian white, the Gulfi Carjcanti, a blend of Carricante and the ancient Albanello. Lively and herbal alongside a salty sapiness in the flavour making this a great wine to pair with seafood, let alone the olives, capers and tomatoes in this dish.

Fish in spicy tomato sauce with capers and olives (Pesce all ghiotta) – serves 4

  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 celery sticks, remove the strings and finely dice
  • 100ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 500g fresh tomatoes, or tinned plum tomatoes drained of the juice
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional but sometimes good if using tinned tomatoes)
  • a pinch of red chilli flakes
  • 50g salted capers, rinsed
  • 60g olives – we used a mixture of green and black
  • 4 fish fillets (cod, bream or hake – we used hake), about 120g each
  • 1 heaped tbsp of chopped flat-leaf parsley

Take your fish out of the fridge and season it with a little salt.

Gently fry the onions in a deep frying pan, large enough to fit the hake fillets in a single layer later, until soft and translucent.

Add the celery and cook for a few minutes, then add the tomatoes and chilli and simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Add the capers and olives and simmer for another couple of minutes.

Take the pan off the heat, make a space in the sauce and arrange the fish fillets, skin-side down, in a single layer, then spoon over some of the sauce. Put the pan back over a low heat and simmer very gently, spooning more sauce over occasionally, until the fish is cooked through – watch carefully as it shouldn’t take too long. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

(Original recipe from ‘Two Kitchens – Family Recipes from Sicily and Rome’ by Rachel Roddy, HEADLINE HOME, 2017)

 

Read Full Post »

Roasted Asparagus with Almonds, Capers & Dill

We thought you couldn’t beat buttered asparagus until Yotam Ottolenghi suggested almonds, capers & dill, a fabulous combination!

Roasted asparagus with almonds, capers & dill – serves 4 as a side dish

  • 600g asparagus, snap off the woody ends
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 20g flaked almonds
  • 30g baby capers, patted dry with kitchen towel
  • 10g dill, roughly chopped
  • salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200°C fan.

Toss the asparagus with 1 tbsp of the oil and some salt and black pepper. Spread over a large parchment-lined baking tray and roast for 8 to 12 minutes depending on thickness, until soft and starting to brown in spots. Transfer to a large serving plate and set aside.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the almonds and fry for a minute or two, stirring, until golden-brown. Pour the almonds and butter over the asparagus.

Add the remaining 2 tbsp of oil to the saucepan and place over a high heat. Once hot, add the capers and fry for 1-2 minutes, stirring all the time, until they have opened up and turned crispy. Remove the capers with a slotted spoon and scatter over the asparagus along with the dill (discard the oil). Serve warm.

(Original recipe from Ottolenghi Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi with Tara Wigley and Esme Howarth, Ebury Press, 2018.)

Read Full Post »

Caponata Spaghetti

A really healthy mid-week pasta dish but with heaps of flavour. Don’t be tempted to use  more oil than specified, as you really don’t miss it in this dish.

Caponata Spaghetti – serves 4

  • 2 aubergines, cut into 3cm cubes
  • 4 tsp vegetable oil
  • ½ red onion, sliced
  • 2 sticks of celery, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • a small handful of raisins
  • 1 tsp capers
  • a handful of kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 300g wholewheat spaghetti
  • a small bunch of parsley, chopped

Heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7.

Toss the aubergine with 2tsp of oil and a little seasoning and tip into a large non-stick baking tray. Roast for 20 minutes or until charred and soft.

Meanwhile, heat the rest of the oil in a large pan and cook the red onion and celery with a large pinch of salt for 10 minutes or until softening and caramelised a little. Add the garlic and oregano, and cook for a minute before adding the tomatoes and 100ml water. Tip in the roasted aubergine and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the raisins, capers, olives and red wine vinegar, and season. Keep on a low heat while you cook the pasta.

Cook the pasta according to the time on the pack, then drain, reserving a mug of the water. Tip the pasta into the caponata with the parsley, add a splash of water to loosen if needed. Stir well and serve.

(Original recipe by Adam Bush in Olive Magazine, February 2019)

Read Full Post »

Linguine with Tuna

Linguine with Tuna

Please buy fancy tins or jars of tuna in olive oil for this. We often go for Ortiz but recently we’ve been buying Shines Wild Irish Tuna – who knew we had such fabulous fish in Irish waters. Italians will complain about serving Parmesan with this but we can do what we like 🙂

Wine Suggestion: a textural white like Vermentino is our pick. From the Tuscan coast is the delightful Poggio ai Ginepri which is worth seeking out and shows great promise from a very youthful vineyard. Looking further afield you could go for a Vermentino, or Rolle as it is also known as, from France

Linguine with Tuna – serves 4

  • 400g linguine
  • 150-200g tin or jar of tuna in olive oil (drained weight)
  • 50g capers
  • 50g green pitted olives, sliced
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped flatleaf parsley
  • pinch of chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

TO SERVE:

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 1-2 tbsp grated Parmesan

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add salt. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.

Meanwhile, put the tuna into a large bowl and break gently into flakes. Add the capers, olives, lemon zest, Parmesan, parsley and chilli flakes and stir slightly.

Reserve a ladleful of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the bowl and drizzle over the olive oil. Add about 100ml of the cooking water and mix to combine.

Season with salt & pepper, then serve immediately, sprinkled with extra parsley and cheese.

(Original recipe from The Hairy Bikers’ Mediterranean Adventure by Si King & Dave Myers, Seven Dials, 2017.)

Read Full Post »

Sicilian tuna pasta

We loved this easy pasta dish that we cooked when camping underneath Château de Beynac, right beside the banks of the Dordogne, with hot air balloons floating by. Such happy memories.

Wine Suggestion: We don’t see wines from the Dordogne often in Ireland and found ourselves a bit at sea until we found the Vinotheque de Beynac run by Enrique; young, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and who had curated a nice, boutique selection of wines. His suggestion of the Chateau Montdoyen Un Point c’est Tout! Bergerac Rosé was a great match. If you’re near Beynac et Cazenac in the Dordogne, he’s well worth seeking out for local wine inspiration.

Sicilian Tuna Pasta – serves 4

  • 300g dried pasta shells
  • 4 heaped tsp baby capers
  • 500g ripe cherry tomatoes (mixed colours if available), halved
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 x 220g jar of tuna in olive oil

Cook the pasta in a large pan of salty boiling water according to the time suggested on the packet. Meanwhile, put a large non-stick frying pan on a medium-high heat with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add the capers, fry until very crispy, then scoop out with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the tomatoes, then sprinkle in most of the oregano. Drain and flake in the tuna, add 2 ladles of the pasta cooking water, and simmer until the pasta is cooked.

Drain the pasta, reserving a little more of the cooking water, then toss the pasta into the tuna pan. Mix together and loosen with a splash of the pasta water if needed. Taste and season, then serve scattered with the crispy capers and the rest of the oregano and a drizzle of olive oil.

(Original recipe from Jamie Oliver’s “5 Ingredients”, Michael Joseph, 2017.)

Read Full Post »

Crispy new potato bake

This is a bit different and perfect when you’ve got over the initial excitement of new potatoes and feel like doing something other than steaming them and covering them with butter. Jersey Royals are nice if you can find them. We served these with some salmon and herby mayonnaise.

Crispy new potatoes with olives, capers & herbs – serves 4

  • 1kg Jersey Royal potatoes or other small new potatoes
  • handful small capers
  • 2 handfuls stoned black olives
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves
  • small bunch rosemary, broken into sprigs
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar

Heat oven to 240C/Fan 220C/Gas 9.

Boil the potatoes until almost cooked – about 12 minutes. Drain, then slice and put into a large bowl. Tip in the capers, olives and herbs, then add most of the olive oil and season. Gently mix together, lightly crushing the potatoes as you go.

Line a medium Swiss roll tin with baking parchment, leaving some overhanging. Tip the potatoes into the tray and spread to flatten. Mix the vinegar with the rest of the oil and drizzle over. Bake for 40 minutes or until crisp and golden.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

Read Full Post »

Linguine with Creamy Tomato, Rosemary & Caper Sauce

Super simple weeknight pasta that tastes delicious.

Wine suggestion: A youthful Sangiovese from Tuscany is our pick with the wine at hand the Rocca delle Macie Vernaiolo which we find a great unoaked and fresh red wine. We like to put it in the fridge for 30 minutes before opening at this time of the year.

Linguine with creamy tomato, rosemary & caper sauce – serves 2

  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • a pinch of chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp chopped rosemary
  • 1 tin of plum tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 3 tbsp double cream
  • 150g linguine
  • Parmesan, grated, to serve

Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a saucepan. Add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes, then add the chilli & rosemary and cook for another minute. Add the tin of tomatoes.

Simmer the sauce for 20 minutes, squashing the tomatoes with a wooden spoon occasionally so they break down into a thick sauce. Add the capers and cream and simmer for another 3-4 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the linguine according to the pack, then drain well. Tip the pasta into the sauce and toss together. Serve in warm bowls with some Parmesan for sprinkling over.

(Original recipe by Janine Ratcliffe IN: BBC Olive Magazine, May 2015.)

 

Read Full Post »

Salmon Tartare

A perfect starter for the festive season. Get the freshest and best salmon you can as it will make all the difference; ours was meltingly tender while cutting it up and we were rewarded with a melt in the mouth starter.

Wine suggestion: Try an appropriately festive and indulgent Vintage Champagne like the Billecart-Salmon Blanc de Blanc which has a richness and depth alongside a minerally freshness and great purity of fruit. Alternately if on a budget, but another classic match, would be a zippy and herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc or for a bit of a lemony twist a Verdejo from Rueda in Spain.

Smoky salmon tartare with lemon and capers – serves 6

  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 2 lemons, 1 juiced and 1 cut into wedges
  • 400g skinless salmon fillet
  • 200g smoked salmon
  • 2 tbsp chopped dill
  • 2 tbsp small capers
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp crème fraîche
  • olive oil
  • melba toast, to serve

Put the shallot into the lemon juice and leave to soak.

Cut the salmon into tiny cubes and finely chop the smoked salmon. Put all of the fish into a bowl, add the dill, capers, mustard, crème fraîche, 1 tbsp olive oil and the shallot and juice. Fold together gently and season with salt and black pepper.

Serve in rounds with the melba toast and a drizzle of olive oil.

(Original recipe from BBC Olive Magazine, December 2014)

Read Full Post »

Obica: Linguine with Yellowfin Tuna

A simple but delicious dish from a cool restaurant called Obicà that we found on our last trip to Florence. They insist that it’s best made with fresh tuna (and they’re probably right) but we made it with top quality tinned tuna and it worked for us.

Wine Suggestion: Classic Italian matches for tuna depend on the region. If you are in Sicily a great match is their native Grillo grape, a textural, slightly salty and mineral wine with good body but not weighty. For this dish though we drank a Vermentino, made by Morisfarms, from the Tuscan coast. It has a great vinous texture and savoury character which combined with fresh fruit and minerality matches this Tuscan combination of tuna, tomatoes and olives.

Linguine with Yellowfish Tuna – serves 4-6

  • 2 tins top quality plum tomatoes (the Italian brands are good)
  • 500g yellowfin tuna
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus a bit extra
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • a pinch of chilli flakes
  • 80ml white wine
  • 30g salted capers, soaked and drained
  • 100g pitted black olives (Gaeta or Kalamata)
  • 500g linguine
  • chopped fresh parsley to serve

Drain the tinned tomatoes and cut into strips.

Cut the tuna into 2cm cubes. Heat the oil in a pan and sauté with 1 sprig of rosemary and the chilli flakes.

Add the wine and simmer until it evaporates, then add the capers.

Add the olives and tomatoes and cook over a high heat for 15 minutes.

Cook the linguine until al dente, then drain and add to the pan of tuna sauce. Toss gently.

Sprinkle on the parsley, drizzle with some more olive oil, and garnish with the remaining rosemary.

(Original recipe from Obicà: Mozzerella Bar, Pizza e Cucina, Rizzoli, 2014.)

Read Full Post »

It’s amazing what you can throw together when rummaging through the cupboard. We always make huge batches of tomato sauce and freeze it as you can use it in so many things. We made pizza on Tuesday which didn’t quite use the whole tub and this is how we used up the leftover sauce. We recommend buying good quality pasta – we like Martelli which comes in cute yellow paper bags but most importantly has a great texture – you will notice the difference.

To make this dish we sliced up a red chilli and sautéed it in a glug of olive oil. We then added our leftover tomato sauce and some tuna chunks from a jar of tuna fillets in olive oil – much nicer than tinned and we always avoid brine! Heat this gently while you cook your spaghetti. Throw some rinsed capers in at the end and toss the sauce and spaghetti together. Yum!

Read Full Post »