So, capers. Luca loves them, Dolly isn’t so sure. You won’t know whose side to take until you try them. Nothing ventured nothing gained could be our motto at FFF. If you don’t like them, you won’t have lost anything really. If you do think they’re at least okay, well, you’ll be able to look all sophisticated in front of the grown-ups. Whichever, you will gain your first FAB FUN FOOD CLUB points! (We’ll tell you more about this soon but the more foods you try, the more points you’ll get and this will work towards certificates your parents can print for you).
They seem a bit like peas but these little green things are quite different. In the supermarket, you’ll find them in jars, probably near the olives, which in turn are probably near the condiments (fancy pants word for sauces – ketchup, mustard, vinegar and the like).
What are they?
We’ve consulted our enormous foodie encyclopaedia (what old people like your parents used to use to find out about things before Google and the internet were invented) and they are actually ‘immature’ (not very old) flower buds from the caper bush which grows in Mediterranean countries (ones a lot of us like to go on holiday to such as Italy and Spain). The caper buds are picked and then either put into brine (salty water), vinegar or packed with sea salt (that salt that has bigger chunks than the type you’d put on chips).
What are they used for?
Capers are unusual little things taste-wise. They are sort of tangy and work really well to make a creamy sauce more interesting. Probably the most common food they get put with is smoked salmon.
OK ready to try them? Here are your ideas and recipes:
The swanky one: Smoked Salmon and capers.
This is really easy but a bit expensive. If your parents don’t want to buy proper smoked salmon, ‘trimmings’ are cheaper. You could make a sandwich with the smoked salmon, some lovely creamy Philadelphia cheese and a few capers for good luck!
The fishy one: fish in caper butter sauce.
This is a doddle – quick, easy and with only a few ingredients.
What you need:
– one piece of white fish such as cod or tilapia per person (filleted) – the quantities below assume four servings.
– two tablespoons of butter (ideally slightly salted but if it’s unsalted that’s fine)
– olive oil (about a tablespoon’s worth)
– two tablespoons of capers
– salt and freshly-milled pepper.
What to do:
1. Rub the fish with a quick sprinkling of salt and black pepper. Pour a lug (about a tablespoon’s worth) of olive oil into a baking tray with steep sides or an oven dish. Drag each fish fillet through the olive oil so it gets a light coating.
2. Chop the butter into chunks or smear it fairly evenly onto each fish fillet.
3. Sprinkle the capers fairly evenly onto the fish.
4. Bake in the oven for around 15 to 20 minutes at 180 degrees c.
5. Check the fish is white and opaque rather than clear and you’re good to go.
6. Serve this with some baby new potatoes or rice and veg, drizzling the lovely buttery sauce at the bottom of the tray or dish over the fish and the potatoes/ rice.
What’s great about this recipe is that even if you do find that someone in the family is not keen on the capers, it’s really easy to pick them out. It’s the trying that counts at FFF!
The ‘we all love pasta’ one:
We’re cheating here and going to link to this one for those of you who don’t mind proper chunks of tomato in your sauces:
This is one for those of you who prefer your tomatoes squashed and sauced:
http://www.nottapasta.com/index.php?page=recipe&id=90 (note we have no links to this company or any other we just like this recipe).
Here is a link to some more recipes if you catch the caper bug!