Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What’s in my pantry? Capers.

Capers are the brined buds of the caper bush.  They are sold in jars and they add a tangy, salty kick to all kinds of recipes.  One of my favorite uses of them is straight from the jar with smoked salmon, whipped cream cheese and red onions on a cracker (or, if you’re not gluten-free, some wonderful pumpernickel squares). 

Another great way to enjoy capers is to fry them.  Just take 1/2 cup of capers, drain them and pat them dry with paper towels (this will keep them from splattering when you add them to heated oil).  Heat up about 1/3 of a cup of olive oil in a small skillet over medium high heat.  Once the oil is heated, add the capers and fry them until they are crisp and have blossomed open, stirring often.  It usually takes about a minute.  Use a slotted spoon to transfer the fried capers from the skillet to paper towels to drain. 

Fried capers are a particularly delicious garnish to fish.  They also are great when added to salads, pasta, meat, and vegetable dishes – pretty much any time you want to add a salty, crunchy touch to a dish!

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