There is a lovely book — Olives, Anchovies, and Capers by Georgeanne Brennan  — that Suzen and I often turn to. We love food with a bite, thus explaining our penchant for hot sauces and the cuisine of Santa Fe. But Mediterranean cuisines have long had the techniques and recipes to satisfy anyone with a “hot” tooth.
There can be no mistaking the intensity of olive, anchovies, or capers. Sometimes Georgeanne combines them all in her exceptional recipes. Sometimes, she lets one flavor shine through.
This is a classic caper dish, intensified by adding a parmesan crust to the veal. The recipe in the book calls for veal chops. We wanted a lighter meal, and did not want to lighten our wallets. So made this dish with veal scallops instead. The recipe below is the original, complete with veal chops.
This is a centerpiece dish, one where the depth and layering of flavors will dominate everything else on the table. So, pair it up with green beans or perhaps some extra-buttery mashed potatoes.
If you love capers, then this can be your next Sunday feast.
Parmesan-Crusted Veal Chops Finished with Lemon and Capers
Yield: serves 4
- ⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup freshly made fine dried bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoons water
- ½ cup all-purpose flour 4 veal chops, each about 6 ounces and ½-inch thick
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Juice of 2 lemons, about 1/3 cup
- 3 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
In a shallow bowl, combine the cheese, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper and mix well. In another shallow bowl, whisk together the egg and water just until blended. Spread ½ cup flour on a plate. Coat a veal chop on both sides with the flour, tapping off the excess. Drip the chop into the egg mixture, then dip it into the cheese mixture, coating it on both sides. Set the chop aside on a waxed paper and quickly repeat with the remaining 3 chops.
In a heavy-bottomed skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When it is hot, add the chops and fry, turning once, until a golden crust has formed on the exterior, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. If the chops are browning too quickly, reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook until cooked through but still faintly pink at the center, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a warmed platter or individual plates and keep warm.
Pour off all but 1 teaspoon of the oil from the skillet. Return the pan to medium-high heat, add the lemon juice, and stir to scrape up any bits clinging to the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to low, add the capers and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds.
Pour the lemon juice and capers evenly over the chops and serve immediately.
Source: Olives, Anchovies, and Capers by Georgeanne Brennan
Photo Information Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/5.6 for 1/15th second at ISO‑3200
The nightmare is always the same. I am hungry, I go downstairs to the refrigerator, open the door, and there it all is. The fridge is filled with stacks of one overpowering awful, disgraceful dish. Salmon cakes. The only thing you can make with leftover salmon.
I haven’t had a salmon cake in decades, and that’s on purpose. To me, they always were as dry as the Gobi. The flavor was salmon, and salmon, and salmon. One overpowering note. And old salmon at that.
So, if have leftover salmon, what do with it? Well, the opposite of those salmon cakes. You want to avoid that dryness and you need a symphony of flavors: salmon in the lead with overtones to create a full complement for your taste buds.
Suzen and I experimented this weekend on some left over smoked salmon. We created the concoction for a dip, but it has multiple uses. You can stuff tomatoes with it, place a large dab on a bed of lettuce for a salad, or spread it on toast for a great sandwich.
The amounts here can be easily scaled up to produce more. And, you can increase the flavor notes if you wish by including:
- Chopped onion
- Herbs beyond chives
- Diced pickles
- Lime instead of lemon
We did use smoked salmon here, salmon we had just smoked ourselves so it was fresh and moist, not dry and leathery. If you have leftover salmon, but it is baked or barbequed and not smoked, you can introduce that smoky flavor by adding a dash — just a dash— of the adobe sauce from a can of chipotles. Really go easy here. You can add but you cannot subtract!
And, for distinction, there is dill here. And no salt and pepper. The combination is truly different.
Yield: dip for 5-6 folks, salad for two
- 6 ounces cooked salmon
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ sour cream
- Zest of one lemon
- Juice of one lemon
- 3 tablespoons diced chives
- 1 tablespoon capers
Using your hands, pull the salmon into small pieces, discarding any skin or tough parts. Place in a bowl. Add the mayonnaise and sour cream. Stir with a wooden spoon to mix well. Add the lemon zest and juice plus the capers. Stir to combine.
Adjust to get the texture you desire by adding more mayo or sour cream. With smoked salmon and the capers, salt and pepper are really not needed here. You are looking for a smooth, subtle flavor with a texture that is easily spreadable.
Source: Suzen and Brian O’Rourke