capers

Pork Chops With Rosemary and Capers

by Anne Maxfield on September 30, 2019

Sometimes you just crave good pork chops.

I did and this recipe from bon appetit with capers and rosemary caught my attention. Serves 2:

  • 2 1″-thick bone-in pork chops
  • Salt
  • 1½ teaspoons sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon drained capers
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Season pork chops with salt and sprinkle evenly with ½ teaspoon of sugar. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chops, undisturbed, until well-browned underneath, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook just until second side is lightly browned, about 1 minute. Transfer chops to a plate (they won’t be fully cooked) and reduce heat to medium.

Pour remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil into the same skillet and add shallot and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until softened and just beginning to brown, about 3 minutes.

Add vinegar and remaining 1 teaspoon sugar to skillet. Cook, swirling pan occasionally, until vinegar is nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes.

Add rosemary, capers, and ½ cup water to skillet; season with salt. Reduce heat as needed to maintain a very low simmer. Add butter and swirl pan continuously (and vigorously) until sauce becomes smooth, glossy, and emulsified.

Return pork chops to skillet, arranging darker side up. Simmer gently in sauce, swirling occasionally, until chops are cooked through, about 3 minutes (a thermometer inserted near the bones should register 135°).

Transfer pork chops to plates and spoon sauce over, serve and enjoy!

My verdict: These were really good and will go into regular rotation along with the ones with mustard and cornichons! I served them with mashed potatoes so I could take the new GIR potato masher for a test run and they were the perfect vehicle to soak up the extra sauce (BTW, the potato masher is great too but more about that later).

I was a little leery of the sugar in the recipe since I’d just trashed my grill pan because a marinade had sugar in it, but it was fine and my cast iron pan easily handled it.

Sage would probably work well in place of the rosemary, depending on what you had on hand.

 

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Grilled Artichokes With Remoulade

by Anne Maxfield on May 28, 2018

Accidental Locavore Grilled ArtichokeOK, your first thought, like the Accidental Locavore’s, is probably – artichokes are time-consuming enough to cook, why would I want to grill them, but trust me, you do.

And, you want to grill them on charcoal. I’m only slightly a charcoal snob, because there are many times when time is at a premium and it’s faster to toss something on a gas grill. For this, the smoky taste from the charcoal is really the reason you’re grilling them in the first place, so go light some charcoal!

While you’re waiting for the grill to be ready, wash and trim the artichokes. I had two big ones; figure on at least 1/2 per person depending on the size and what role they’re playing in your meal (appetizer, main course, side dish). You can save a lot of time, by wrapping them in either Saran Wrap or parchment paper, and steaming them in the microwave for about 8 minutes (again depending on size and microwave strength) until the stem end is tender and gives when you touch it.

Once they’re cool enough to work with, cut them in half. Using a small spoon, carefully remove the choke and the smallest inner leaves (if you want to, the choke can be removed before you cook them, but it’s easier this way). Brush the artichokes with either a little melted butter, some of the remoulade you’re going to eat with them or a little good olive oil.

Grill them, cut side down, for about 5 minutes, then flip and grill the other side for about 5 more minutes. Serve with the remoulade sauce below, or your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy!

My verdict: These were great! Absolutely worth doing over charcoal, and definitely worth grilling! This may sound silly, but it’s awfully nice to have the chokes already removed so you can just zip though them. My quick version of a remoulade may or may not be terribly authentic, but it sure tasted good! I think it’s one of those things that takes well to improvisation. Probably having some homemade mayo helped too, but by this point I hope I’ve convinced you ages ago that it’s the only way to go.
Accidental Locavore RemouladeRemoulade 

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise (preferably homemade)
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon capers, chopped
  • 3 anchovy filets, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon chives, finely minced (or scallions)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Mix everything together in a small bowl. Taste and adjust to suit your palette.

 

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A Recipe for Capers From Dandelion Buds

by Anne Maxfield on May 21, 2015

Accidental Locavore BudsOne of the most interesting things the Accidental Locavore ate on the recent Croatian trip was the dandelion buds that the chef at Toklarija had pickled. At first, they looked like capers and tasted a bit like them, but with a more interesting, complex flavor. As we toured the kitchen, he told me how he makes them.

As it turns out, when I got back it was just the right time to look for the buds (and there were plenty!). They’re generally in the center of the plant, although some may have multiple buds. You want them small and tight, otherwise they’ll come apart in the pickling process. I picked about a cup of them over the course of several dog walks. Here’s the process:Accidental Locavore Dandelion Buds in Salt

  • Rinse and dry the buds
  • In a shallow container, put a generous layer of kosher salt. Add the buds and cover completely with another layer of salt. Leave them for 2 days.
  • After 2 days, put the buds and salt in a sieve and rinse throughly.
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, put ½ cup white vinegar, ½ cup water, and ½ cup kosher salt. Heat until the salt is dissolved and the brine is simmering.
  • Put washed buds in a small jar (I used a 1 pint Ball jar) and pour the hot brine over them until the jar is almost full (leave about 1” of space). Cover and let cool.
  • When the jar is cool, refrigerate. They’ll need a day or two to pickle.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Dandelion CapersMy verdict: Really good! Added bonus—possibly the yard will have a few less dandelions next year. It may be too late in the season to find buds, but as I was researching this, I learned that you can do this with a variety of buds, including chives and nasturtiums. As it turned out, my chives were just beginning to bud, so I clipped a few and added them to the jar. Where the dandelion buds were just slightly bitter, the chive buds had a hint of onion to them. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

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Celery Root Remoulade Recipe

by Anne Maxfield on October 3, 2013

Accidental Locavore Celery Root RemouladeOne of the Accidental Locavore’s favorite salads, not easily found outside of France, is celery root remoulade. It may be that it’s a little difficult to find celery root and it’s definitely not going to rank high in the lists of attractive vegetables (which may be why it’s not easy to find – we like attractive, perfect produce), so when my CSA had celery root last week I snatched it up! Here’s how I made my remoulade.  (Make the dressing first as the celery root will tend to discolor.)

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon capers (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 knobs of celery root, peeled and grated (see below for peeling and grating ideas)

In a medium bowl, mix together the mayo, mustard, lemon juice and capers. Add the celery root, mix until well coated with the dressing, taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Celery Root RemouladeMy verdict: So good, took me right back to Paris! I used the grater disk on my food processor to grate the celery root, but you could use a grater or mandoline. To peel the root, cut off the top and bottom and peel the sides with a very sharp peeler (something I don’t own) or a paring knife. I remember the celeriac remoulade in France having capers, so I tossed some in, that’s up to you. And as always, homemade mayo is easy and makes the dish. If anyone has a recommendation for a really good vegetable peeler, please let me know. I have a drawerful of crappy ones.

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