I'm all for simple, satisfying meals that get dinner on the table, but sometimes it's worth stepping up efforts to create an elevated, restaurant-style recipe at home. The key is finding a dish, like these elegant cauliflower steaks, that packs bang for its buck; there's no point to working hard for hard work's sake. Oftentimes this means stealing a technique (searing whole planks of cauliflower until mahogany brown and caramelized) rather than attempting to replicate an elaborate meal that's only practical with the aid of a kitchen full of prep cooks. Add a sauce that hits all the marks — salty (capers), savory (pancetta), sour (lemon juice), and sweet (golden raisins) — glossed with every restaurant's secret weapon (butter, lots of it), and the result is restaurant-worthy, even magical. Give the recipe a spin in your kitchen.
Ever since I was first introduced to roasted bone marrow, it has been a must-order appetizer — if I see it on the menu, my mind is almost unimpeachably made up — but until I tried my hand at cooking the trendy dish, I had no idea how easy, enticing, and accessible bone marrow can be to make at home.
To say that making this recipe was a revelation is a major understatement. Truly, the most challenging (and not terribly difficult at that) step is procuring the bones. I found mine at the butcher counter at Whole Foods, though this required calling slightly ahead of time to make certain they had enough in stock, and to ensure that the bones were cut to my specifications. If this buttery appetizer is up your alley, try your local butcher. All it takes is a short phone call to see if they can wrangle up a few pounds of bones to brighten your meal (and day). Trust me: it's worth the extra step.
It starts with flattened meat that's flashed in the pan, then served with a sauce made from butter, capers, lemon, and pan drippings. If you're not a fan of veal, you can substitute another type of protein, such as turkey paillards or thinly pounded pork tenderloin.
Serve the piccata over a bed of steamed egg noodles, and a crisp white wine on the side. For a gourmet Italian dinner in minutes, read on.
However, a hint of something special, say half a cup of fresh-squeezed orange juice, ensures that simple is not boring. Serve this fish with a side of mixed greens dressed with a garlic vinaigrette and topped with shaved parmesan cheese. Get the recipe that's sure to brighten your Wednesday when you read more
This Mediterranean feast, with its cauliflower, capers, spinach, and dried cherries, may sound like an unusual combination, but the result is an irresistible explosion of tart, sweet, salty, and sour flavors all at once. For the recipe, read more.
I learned how to reduce the harshness while watching Manresa chef David Kinch prepare beef and oyster tartare at this year's Chefs' Holidays. To tone down capers, caperberries, or anchovies, soak them in milk for about a half hour. If you don't have milk, you can opt for warm water, which also helps to reduce salinity.
What are your tips for working with capers and anchovies?
Whenever I chat with someone about the film Julie & Julia, it seems the famous recipe for beef Borgignonne enters the conversation. However, when I watched the movie it wasn't this dish that stood out in my mind. It was the sole meuniere — the life-changing fish that Julia enjoyed upon her arrival in France — that I long to taste. Since I have a copy of my grandmother's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, I went home and looked for Julia's recipe.
Unfortunately it's not in the book, so I hit the Internet in search of a buttery white-fish recipe. Although it's not necessarily a classic sole meuniere, I experimented with this sole and herbed white wine lemon sauce. The final result wasn't a culinary revelation, but it was decidedly delicious. If you're looking for a light, filling meal with fresh flavors, why not channel Child? For the recipe, keep reading.
Tilapia, a light, flaky white fish, is cooked with tomatoes and arugula. A simple piccata-style pan sauce of butter and capers tops off the fish. Don't hesitate to be resourceful. Have a vegetable drawer filled with spinach? Use that instead. To treat yourself to this dish, get the recipe.