Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Caper Crusader

Men can be a lot like children at times. This is not a derogatory nod, since many times I consider myself not only child-like but also juvenile. So when Erik wanders off in the grocery store after I've given him explicit instructions, I tend to chuckle, not reprimand him sternly.

On this particular occasion, he wasn't off making faces at himself at the mirrors on the makeup isle or pressing all the buttons on "TRY ME" toys in the clearance isle. I had requested he assist me in finding flank steak at Kroger. I was not having much success, but upon glancing down the isle in his direction, I noticed that he had deviated from his original flank quest to visit the sample platter of weenies.

For this reason, he was held solely responsible for making dinner on this particular evening.

Now I'd like to talk about capers. You don't know what they are either so you can stop pretending now and answer this question: what did you think they were?

I had an idea in my head initially of those little black sticks you put in ham during the holidays but I quickly decided those are called cloves. Then I thought,"Is it some sort of odd vegetable?" Then, I wandered the spice isle my subconscious led me to the pickle and olive section.

Capers are small, olive colored oddities that stem from the Mediterranean. They are not olives, but they taste very similar to green olives. Therefore, to the list of foods I now recognize, you may add caper to pimento.


Fill a large saucepan with 1 in. of water and fit with a steamer basket. Bring the water to a boil. Place the cauliflower in the basket, cover and steam until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season the flank steak with ½ tsp each salt and pepper, and cook to desired doneness, 5 to 6 minutes per side for medium-rare. Let rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.

Transfer the cauliflower to a food processor, add 1 Tbsp oil and ¼ tsp each salt and pepper and purée until smooth.

In a small bowl, combine the parsley, vinegar, capers, shallot and remaining 2 Tbsp oil. Serve with the steak and cauliflower.

tips & techniques

If you're not a fan of capers, use ¼ cup pimiento-stuffed olives to add that briny flavor boost.
I would also like to add that adding mashed, steamed cauliflower to whipped potatoes boost the nutritional value and cut down on carbs an calories. 

This meal came out to be $1.75 per serving. 

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