24th September 2007

Swordfish Kebabs with Olive and Caper Tapenade

Tonight I made another recipe from The Olive and The Caper, and this time it featured both of those ingredients. Swordfish marinated in lemon and olive oil is skewered with onions and bay leaves, grilled, and served with an olive and caper tapenade. I followed the recipe as listed below, except that I used less oil than called for. We had asparagus and broccoli cheese couscous on the side.

Lisa says:

Everything’s salty — this is my dream dinner! I usually don’t like olives, but that tapenade is really good. The marinade on the swordfish is so flavorful!

Chris says:

Wow, this rules. I didn’t think bay leaves were used in anything but stews and sauces for flavoring. You can really taste the flavor of them on the onions. Yeah, the tapenade is pretty salty, and so is the couscous — actually that couscous is pretty vile.

Lisa says:

Yeah, I can’t tell if I like it, or if it tastes like vomit.

Chris says:

There’s a winning endorsement… I’m just glad we also had the asparagus. Let’s definitely make that swordfish again, it was delicious.

Swordfish Kebabs with Olive and Caper Tapenade
1 cup lemon and oil marinade (Recipe Follows)
8 to 10 bay leaves, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 1/2 pound swordfish, cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
1 large onion, quartered, layers separated
2 cups Olive and Caper Tapenade (Recipe Follows)

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
Stir all the ingredients together in a small bowl.

Olive and Caper Tapenade:
3/4 cup pitted Kalamata or other Greek black olives
4 large cloves garlic
4 anchovy fillets, preferably salt-packed
3/4 cup capers, drained
1/2 packed cup fresh basil leaves
2/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until chopped as fine as possible.

Place the marinade and the bay leaves in a dish that is large enough to hold all the swordfish chunks in one layer. Add the swordfish and onion and turn to coat it in the marinade. Marinate for 20 to 30 minutes at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours. Turn the fish once or twice while it is marinating. When you are ready to cook swordfish, heat a grill to medium-hot. String an onion section, a piece of bay leaf, and then a swordfish chunk in a skewer. Repeat, in that order, until the skewer is filled, ending with a piece of onion. Fill all the skewers in this fashion. If there are extra onion sections left over, thread them on a separate skewer and cook them along with the others. Place the skewers on the grill and cook, turning once, just until white curds form on top of the fish and the centers are still a bit pink, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer the skewers to a platter and let them sit for the juices to settle, 5 minutes. Arrange the skewers on a platter and serve right away, accompanied by the tapenade.

posted in Main Dishes, The Olive and The Caper | 1 Comment

11th September 2007

Chicken Baked in Yogurt with Red Onion and Grape Leaves

Here’s another addition to what seems to have become yellow food month (why does yellow food always look so unappetizing?). I’ve been looking forward to trying out a dish based on one of the recipes from The Olive and The Caper, and this one seemed to fit the bill for a weeknight, as it didn’t take very much prep — whisking together the marinade, pouring it over the chicken, and tossing it in the oven. The kitchen smelled fantastic while this was cooking (although at 450 degrees the oven made the kitchen… an oven)! We served it with bulgur pilaf, from the same cookbook.

Chicken Baked in Yogurt
1 cup plain nonfat Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1 bay leaf, finely chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground white pepper
2 1/2 lbs chicken breast, cut into pieces
1 large red onion, quartered and cut into slices
8 grape leaves, cut into 1-inch-wide shreds
2 tsp lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 450F. Whisk the yogurt, mint, bay leaf, cumin, coriander, turmeric, salt, and white pepper in a bowl. Place the chicken pieces into a 16×9 glass baking dish. Add the onion, grape leaves, and yogurt mixture, and turn to coat. Cover with foil and bake until the liquid is boiling and the chicken almost tender, 40 minutes. Remove the foil, stir, and continue baking for 20 minutes or until the chicken is very tender. Sprinkle the zest over the chicken and serve.

Bulgur Pilaf
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup coarse ground bulgur
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste

Heat the oil in a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bulgur and onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the stock and tomato paste, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and cover. Simmer until the bulgur is tender and the liquid absorbed, about 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff and serve.

Serves 4.

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9th September 2007

Grilled Salmon over Skordalia, and Heirloom Tomatoes

We were on our way home tonight and realized we hadn’t planned any meals, so we popped in to Whole Foods to see if anything caught our eye — salmon fillets and heirloom tomatoes were both on sale, so we bought both, along with a few potatoes. It wasn’t until we got home that I wondered if we had the ingredients to make skordalia, and when I saw we did, I decided to give it a try. I cut the oil in the recipe below more than half, and should have cut the garlic in half as well — it was *extremely* garlicky (Even Lisa, who usually *doubles* the garlic in recipes, thought it was a bit much). Still, it was delicious, especially when it mixed a bit with the juices from the tomatoes, which were just topped with some balsamic, a little olive oil, and fresh basil.

Potato Skordalia (from The Olive and the Caper)
1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup blanched almonds (or pine nuts)
15 cloves of garlic (!!!)
1 cup olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt

Boil potatoes over high heat until soft all the way through, about 10 minutes.
Transfer the potatoes to a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

posted in Main Dishes, The Olive and The Caper | 0 Comments