Tag Archives: capers

Hotel Breakfast OR Why I Need Egg Cups

1 Nov

I’m traveling this week, having escaped the US just before Sandy, the Frankenstorm, shut down every flight out of the country. I’m starting the week in Worms, Germany, southwest of Frankfurt. I speak French very well, but I only know two phrases in German. The first, “where is the key?” because the restroom in the plant is always locked, and the second “I would like capers, please” because the hotel has smoked salmon on the breakfast buffet, but the capers are locked away as a strictly afternoon sort of condiment. When informed that my German had improved to include this second all-important phrase about capers, my husband said, “Really? That’s what you decided to learn?” or something to that effect.

He clearly has no appreciation for the importance of capers with smoked salmon, but I have to think at least one person will agree with me.

I didn’t come here to talk about smoked salmon, delightful though it is. I wanted to talk about kiwis. Kiwis are one of those fruits I eat in two situations: when someone else cut it up and provided it (fruit salad, fruit tray, fruit tart) or when I’m staying in a hotel and find them on the breakfast buffet, in which case I cut it in half and scoop out the flesh with a spoon and wonder why I don’t do this at home.

Today, I had a kiwi and it was so good that I went back for a second. I noticed it was a bit less fuzzy and when I cut it open, I found the flesh was yellow. Golden kiwi fruit!  It was delicious and a bit more tropical tasting than the green.

This has suddenly turned into a new obsession to serve kiwis in egg cups.  I don’t own any egg cups.

Quickie – Glazed Pork

29 May

I love this super-easy quick meal from Cooking Light magazine so much that I have a little container of the flour/spice mixture stored in my pantry.  A list of the remaining ingredients is taped to the top.  There is nothing to look up.  I just grab the little container of flour and spices and I’m ready to go.

Here is the recipe for Glazed Pork at myrecipes.com.  They suggest serving it with couscous cooked in chicken broth.  In a pinch, a package of Near East Toasted Pine Nut Couscous works great with this and cooks in less than the time it will take you to saute the pork.  I do this all the time, although my husband vastly prefers pearl couscous to this mix and my friend Karim would probably tell me that this stuff isn’t proper couscous anyway.  Shhhh, fellas!  This is about making weeknight dinners quick and easy, not about being authentic and perfect. 

Okay, back to dinner.  I’m going to heat three things:  1) water in my steamer pan for vegetables, 2) water for the couscous, according to package directions and 3) my saute pan.  This is going to go fast. 

The pork gets dredged in a flour and spice mixture and sauteed.  Once it has been cooked on both sides, you deglaze the pan with a mixture of orange juice and balsamic vinegar and then add raisins and capers.  It’s not strictly ‘correct’, but while I’m cooking the pork, I measure out all of the remaining ingredients, including the sugar, raisins and capers and just put it all in a small bowl so I can add it to the saute pan at the same time.

When I flip the pork, I put the vegetables in the hot steamer and drop the couscous mix into its pan.  Both of those items will be done in 5-8 minutes. 

As soon as the pork has cooked through, remove it to a plate and deglaze with the sauce mixture.  It just takes a couple of minutes for it to thicken and you can plate the other items while the sauce is finishing.  Spoon the sauce over the pork and we’re done here.  This would be great on chicken as well.  In that case, I might consider pounding the chicken breast a bit or butterflying it to make it a quick saute.  Note that I haven’t tried that, I just think it’s a good idea.

Note on Cousous Alternatives:  My husband liked this very much when I served it with miniature gnocchi once.  He said it was kind of like having it with spaetzle.  In combination with the flavors in the glaze, it made sense to his palate.  You can buy gnocchi in the Italian foods or pasta section of your grocery store.  (You can also make it and freeze it, but one thing at a time here.)  Gnocchi cooks similarly to pasta, but very, very quickly.

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