Tuesday, September 18, 2007

All about the sides

Sometimes dinner isn't about the main dish but about what you have next to it. I had picked up some red snapper fillets the other day... tasty and quick cooking for a week night, but a little bland. To give dinner a little extra something-something I threw together a veg medley of sorts that had a great big punch- and really, I think it would be a good side to just about anything. I think I'll call it Puttanesca Hash... hm, maybe not that doesn't sound so good. But really, it was very tasty.
The ingredients:
A few diced mini yukon gold potatoes
A diced peeled eggplant
A pint of heirloom cherry tomatoes
A large diced shallot or small onion
A few diced sweet peppers
A few spoonfulls of capers
A few cloves of garlic
A small handful of diced kalamata olives
the zest of a lemon and a big squeeze of lemon juice
A couple glugs of white wine or chicken broth
EVOO, a TBS of butter, and a generous squirt of chili sauce or a big pinch of chili flakes
It may need a little salt- but taste first- the olives and capers can be quite salty.

The gameplan:
Melt butter and Evoo over a medium/high heat. Add potatoes, shallot to pan and let the spuds get a little soft (its ok if they start to brown a little). Add the eggplant and garlic. Sautee for a few minutes. Add peppers, tomatoes, and wine or broth. Turn down the heat a bit and let it hang out for a little while (maybe 10-15 min). (the eggplant will start to break down and make it creamy and the tomatoes will soften) Squish the tomatoes against the side of the pot with your spoon if they haven't already fallen apart. Add the olives, capers, lemon. Taste. Add salt and spicy stuff to taste. Take a potato chunk out of the pot and make sure they are cooked through.

I topped this with the snapper prepared as a quick pan sear in EVOO with salt and pepper and a squirt of lemon juice. I also threw a few capers and a bit of the left over lemon zest in the pan.

No comments: