Erica De Mane’s Cod with Pantelleria Caper Sauce

Sometimes people ask us, “How should we use capers?” Our first answer is always the same, fish! Erics De Mane’s beautiful recipe illustrates this perfectly. Which capers does she use for her Pan-Seared Cod with a Red Wine Caper Sauce? Ours, made by La Nicchia on the small Sicilian Island of Pantelleria. They are they best, most flavor-packed capers you will find.

As Erica explains, “Capers were the flavor I chose to highlight, so I used nice ones. I like the salt-packed Sicilian ones they produce on the dry, windy island of Pantelleria. Gustiamo carries an excellent brand.  They need a bit of soaking to remove their salt and reveal their floral beauty.”

Indeed, these are the nicest of the nicest capers. Here is the link to her full recipe. And here is where you can find our capers from Pantelleria. Grazie Erica!

Ingredients

For the sauce:

Extra virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, cut into fine dice
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
1 fresh bay leaf
5 thyme sprigs, the leaves lightly chopped
2 small rosemary sprigs, leaves chopped
½ cup dry, non-oaky red wine
About 4 medium tomatoes, skinned, drained, and chopped, or a 15-ounce can of whole tomatoes, well chopped and lightly drained
½ cup chicken broth or water
½ teaspoon honey
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
A palmful of salt-packed capers, soaked and rinsed
About 6 large sprigs of flat-leaf parsley, the leaves lightly chopped

For the cod:

4 thick chunks codfish fillet, skinned (about ½ pound, or a little less, each)
About ½ cup all-purpose flour
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
A big pinch of sugar
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground coriander seed
Extra virgin olive oil
Lemon wedges

Preparation

1. Set a large skillet over medium heat. Add a good drizzle of olive oil, shallot, and let it soften for a minute. Add the garlic, allspice, bay leaf, thyme, and rosemary. Add the red wine, tomatoes and chicken broth, and let cook, uncovered, at a good bubble for about 5 minutes. Add the honey, and season with salt and pepper. Cook another 5 minutes.
2. Cook rice until “al dente”, drain water.
3. Turn off the heat, and stir in the butter and the capers. Mix together the flour, salt, black pepper, sugar, allspice, and coriander. Coat the cod pieces on all sides in the flour mix.
4. Put a heavy-bottomed skilled on the stove and turn the heat to medium-high. Add a generous amount of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the cod, browning it well on both sides.
5. Reheat the sauce, and add the pars
6.Plate the fish, and top it with a big spoonful of the sauce. Garnish with a lemon wedge. Serve with escarole or another well-seasoned green vegetable.

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