Tag: caper

Sicilian Calamaretti with Raisins and Capers in Vermouth Sauce

Sicilian Calamaretti

The last time I made stuffed calamari was in summer and I was closer to the sea than I’m now. Whatever recipe I chose to make I could be sure to find the right fish I needed at the local fish shop. In the city, I prefer to go to the fishmonger and take a look at the daily offers before I decide what to throw in my pan. That’s what I did a couple days ago and when I spotted the calamaretti I remembered the warm nights in the Mediterranean, the salty air, the chilled rosé wine in my glass and my Sicilian stuffed calamari!

This recipes combines quite a few strong aromas in one dish, sweet raisins, salty capers, milky parmesan and fresh parsley. The sauce is made with sweet wine but I used vermouth as I’m a bit obsessed with it at the moment when it comes to deglazing meat or fish, I just like the flavour that it adds. I had to clean the calamaretti myself which took a bit long, if you find them prepared you just have to mix the stuffing and fill the tubes. I let them simmer in the sweet sauce for just a couple minutes, on top of some fried onions and the raisins. We enjoyed them with a glass of white wine, this tastes like a holiday to me!

Sicilian Calamaretti

Stuffed Calamaretti with Raisins and Capers in Vermouth Sauce

calamaretti (or the bigger calamari), cleaned and the tentacles cut off, 300g / 10.5 ounces
raisins, soaked in warm water, 20g / 3/4 ounce
medium sized onion, chopped, 1
capers, chopped, 12
parmesan, grated, 30g / 1 ounce
parsley, chopped, 3 heaped tablespoons
bread crumbs 30g / 1 ounce
lemon juice 2 teaspoons
vermouth or sweet wine 100 ml
salt and pepper
olive oil for frying

Mix the capers, parmesan, parsley, bread crumbs, lemon juice, salt and pepper and fill the calamaretti loosely. Close with a tooth pick.

In a large pan, fry the onion till golden and soft, add the raisons, the calamari’s tentacles and deglaze with half of the wine. Put the stuffed calamaretti on top, add the rest of the wine and let them simmer on medium heat for 1-2 minutes on each side. Take the calamari out of the pan and put them on plates. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and pour over the tubes.

Sicilian Calamaretti

 

Sicilian Calamaretti

 

Sicilian Calamaretti

 

Sicilian Calamaretti

 

 

The taste of Summer in my Mediterranean Sandwich

Maltese Sandwich

Maltese sausage, tomatoes, capers, olives, basil, red onions, garlic and olive oil on Maltese Ftira bread – as soon as I started to make this sandwich the sun came out, literally! You can’t really put more of the taste of summer into a sandwich than in this one. In Malta, this is a local hero, the famous Ftira, enjoyed by everyone on this island. It’s a celebration of their specialities combining quite a few different tastes, all strong and honest, and creating one of the best sandwiches you can imagine.

I made it last weekend when I had all the ingredients at hand, freshly delivered from Malta by Emma. I fried the coarse Maltese sausage with its strong coriander flavour until golden brown, without its skin and cut in half. It looked a bit like a burger stuffed with herbs. You can also use Salsiccia as it’s made with similar spices and herbs as well. I recommend a white bread with a nice crust but soft on the inside to soak the  juices and olive oil like the Maltese bread I used. I cut a few cherry tomatoes, half a red onion, 4 green olives, 1 dried tomato and a few basil leaves into slices and piled everything carefully onto a slice of bread drizzled with olive oil. I finished it off with 1 crushed clove of garlic and a few capers and closed it with another slice of bread. When I took a bite, I was on my favourite island in the Mediterranean again!

Maltese Sandwich

 

Maltese Sandwich

 

Maltese Sandwich

 

Maltese Sandwich

Fennel Carpaccio with Caper and Lemon

Fennel Carpaccio with Caper and Lemon

Two days left in 2013 – an easy and comfy lunch is in order to lean and look back on the past months. I feel like a quick carpaccio with fennel, caper and lemon, fresh and light, the right foundation for an honest review of an exciting and inspiring year – and the start of eat in my kitchen!

My mother told me about this vegetarian carpaccio which she enjoyed at a restaurant in Italy, so much that it became part of her – and my – recipe collection. Sometimes she is so excited by her food discoveries that she calls me immediately after she ate to tell me about her find. She knows that I love fennel and caper –  a perfect match together with lemon and olive oil. I can get good quality fennel all year round therefore I cook with it quite often. As much as I love this carpaccio as a quick lunch because it’s so easy to prepare, it makes a beautiful, light starter as well.

As a starter for 4, cut 1 fennel bulb in very thin slices and arrange them on plates. Add 6-10 capers on each plate, mine are salted so I have to rinse them first. Drizzle some olive oil and fresh lemon juice on top and season with salt and pepper. It only takes a couple minutes.

Fennel Carpaccio with Caper and Lemon