Sunday, January 11, 2009

Fine Cooking Issue 97 Challenge: Sauteed Escarole with Raisins, Pine Nuts, & Capers

First, let me say to the scammers who keep sending me e-mails about needing a personal chef for their two month vacation in Akron, bring your snowsuits. As I told my friends, if you're planning a two month winter vacation here, you don't need a chef; you need a shrink.

I'm not sure why personal chefs are such a target for scams, but I chuckle everytime I check my website stats and see someone in Madagascar has been leisurely exploring my site for 15 minutes. Chances are I am about to win a large lottery prize or get an e-mail with questionable syntax describing a bizzare menu ('we enjoy taking appetizer with our meal') and a sure to follow offer to send me a certified check for much more than my services if I'd only cash it and send some of the money back. Yeah, right. I was born at night. But not last night.

On to Fine Cooking Issue 97 Recipe challenge #2. Last night I made Sauteed Escarole with Raisins, Pine Nuts, and Capers from page 16. As far as I know this is the first time I have cooked or eaten escarole cooked.

Here are the ingredients and the equipment. I didn't end up using the salad spinner, I just rinsed, then chopped the escarole and blanched it in boiling water for 2 minutes. (I only used one head of escarole instead of the called for 2, but I kept everything else the same).

While the escarole was blanching, I heated some extra virgin olive oil and three smashed cloves of garlic in a skillet to flavor the oil. The escarole got drained and rinsed. Then the garlic gets tossed, pine nuts, capers and raisins get added for a few minutes, then the escarole goes in the skillet for a few minutes.

Quick, easy, and I have to say pretty tasty. The escarole is slightly bitter and the combination of the sweet raisins, salty capers and crunchy pine nuts was really nice. It went really well with leftovers of the prior night's wine braised chicken. Which was still really ugly after an overnight in the frig, but actually tasted better the second night than the first.

How much did it cost to make? $1.88 for the escarole, pine nuts pictured probably cost about $4 (and should be kept in the freezer as they get rancid quickly), the nicked lemon is leftover from last night and I got 5 huge ones at West Side Market for $1 (!). Capers were $1.25 at the discount store and last a long time in the fridge. (Just don't confuse them with green peppercorns in brine....)

I am packing up the remains of Barbie's trailer park kitchen today in preparation for tomorrow's remodel day one. I should have taken some photos before I went on a rampage and removed most of the plastic cupboard doors, but I'll snap a few of the sad empty shell.

1 comment:

  1. Tami, I love the idea and will be following you as you cook your way through the issue!


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