capers

All posts tagged capers

Skip the Restaurant, Cook and Home: Scallops with Fennel Grenobloise

Published February 6, 2014 by jenmatteson

My girlfriend was coming over for dinner last Friday night.  She had originally suggested going out for seafood, but seeing as though I’m not working, I countered with cooking in.  I know, not quite as exciting (though, it can be with enough wine and Just Dance).  But I did splurge a little and get us some scallops, which was perfect, as I had this recipe waiting for use.  Unfortunately, she had some car trouble so she wasn’t able to make it.  Fortunately for Nate, that meant he got leftovers 😛  The scallops with the fennel was absolutely outstanding.  I amped it up slightly by serving them over a parsnip puree, and drizzled with truffle oil.  It wasn’t necessary by any means, but why not add a little luxury into our simple lives? Sorry the pictures are so gross – not very good lighting late and night, but this was too good not to share with you!

Scallops with Fennel Grenobloise

Oh, and what the heck is a “grenobloise”?  It’s just a fancy French term for “sauce of brown butter, capers, parsley, and lemon”.  It makes for a much shorter recipe name: Scallops with Fennel Grenobloise vs. Scallops with Fennel, Brown Butter, Capers, Parsley and Lemon.  Yeah, I’ll take the first one.  But how do you pronounce it so you don’t sound like a dope?  You really can’t, but if you must try, here’s a little help: “grewn-o-blwahz”.  Seriously.

Scallops with Fennel Grenobloise

This is the second time I’ve made scallops at home, and they are so easy to make.  Don’t be scared to try!  A few key tips: 1) Make sure the scallops are very dry before placing in a hot pan.  I laid mine between paper towels in the fridge a few hours before I planned to make them.  2) Get your pan nice and hot.  3) Be patient and don’t move once you get them in the pan.  This will get that nice crisp sear on the outside while keeping the middle warm and opaque.  4) Don’t overcrowd your pan.  Placing the scallops too close together will steam them instead of searing them.  YOU DO NOT WANT THIS.  I promise, follow these tips, and you can’t screw them up.  The simple taste of the scallops paired great with the rich taste of the fennel.  Open a nice bottle of wine and make this for your honey this Valentine’s Day instead of braving the crowds and overpriced menus.

Scallops with Fennel Grenobloise

Scallops with Fennel Grenobloise

Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 lb sea scallops
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 tbsp. capers, drained
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving
2 tbsp. flat leaf parsley

Directions:

1. In a large non-stick skillet, heat olive oil over moderately high heat.  Season both sides of scallops with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat until golden brown on the bottom, about 3 minutes on each side (DO NOT move in the pan – this will allow them to sear properly).  Transfer to platter and keep warm.

2. Melt butter in same skillet.  Add fennel and capers and cook over high heat, stirring until the fennel is crisp-tender and lightly golden, about 2 minutes.  Stir in lemon juice and parsley, and season with salt and pepper.  Spoon fennel around the scallops and garnish with chopped fennel fronds, serve with lemon wedges.

Roasted Beet Salad

Published December 31, 2013 by jenmatteson

I really enjoy trying out new salad recipes, especially those that aren’t just plain ol’ lettuce (not that I’m knocking it – we eat more romaine lettuce in this house than most).  For the party I was doing a few weeks ago, I had originally planned on this roasted beet salad I found on the St. Francis Winery website.

Roasted Beet Salad

Of course, everything I made for that party, I tried out in advance to make sure it was perfection.  This salad has roasted beats, blanched beet greens, Serrano ham (prosciutto works just fine if you can’t find Serrano ham) and manchego cheese.  The dressing is bright, but simple, with red wine vinegar and capers.  The verdict was split in my house – I liked it a lot, and Nate really didn’t care for it.  However, he doesn’t like beets, so there isn’t much else to the salad besides that.  The beet greens really add a fresh beet flavor, so for someone who isn’t a fan, I can see how it wouldn’t be a hit.  I decided to go with a different salad for the party, which was a smash hit in my house and at the party.  More on that to come…

Roasted Beet Salad

Roasted Beet Salad

Source: Adapted from St. Francis Winery/Chef David Bush
Servings: 6

Ingredients:

6 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
7 medium beets with greens
1 cup water
2 tbsp. capers, drained and chopped
3 oz thinly sliced Serrano ham (prosciutto can be substituted)
3 oz manchego cheese, shaved

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cut tops off greens and reserve for later.  Arrange beets in a single layer in a shallow baking dish and pour 1 cup of water in the dish and cover with foil.  Bake until tender when pierced with a knife, about 1 hour.  Peel the beets while warm.  Cut beets in half, then slice thinly.

2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar and garlic.  Add 1/4 cup of dressing and capers to sliced beets and mix until well coated.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

3. Cut stems of beets and wash greens thoroughly.  Transfer to a medium saucepan filled with water over medium heat.  Cook until greens are bright green, about 3-4 minutes.  Drain greens and squeeze out excess water, cool, and chop coarsely.  Toss greens with enough dressing to coat.  Season with and salt and pepper to taste.

4. Lay ham in a single layer on serving platter.  Place greens on top of ham and top with beets.  Garnish with shaved manchego cheese and any remaining dressing.

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