You must try the Sicilian Caponata, every guide book told me. It is the flavor of Sicily, they said. I did. I tried many varieties of the quintessential eggplant dish, and all were delicious. Generally, the dish involves eggplant, although my research has shown that it is the sweet and sour dressing of vegetables, not the eggplant that make a dish a caponata. But let’s be honest, most of the time it is an Eggplant Caponata!
Sicilian Seafood Couscous
For our couscous, I paired monkfish with a quick stew of carrots, celery, and tomato with basil, cinnamon, and saffron, a perfect mix of Sicilian and North African flavors. The broth is very quick to make, so you do not need to labor over it for hours like you would the Lamb and Duck couscous. I am really happy with this dish, it will be a perfect dish for spring and summer meals as the weather warms up!
Mussels in Escabeche
I was really excited to cook some mussels and decided that they would fit perfectly in the first course. I wanted something light and flavorful, that would give the guests an opportunity to make a bit of a mess and dip some bread into the delicious broth. The broth can be cooked in advance and reheated when you are ready to serve. The broth gives beauty to this fairly expensive and easy to cook dish. Slowly roasted veggies are extenuated with fish stock, paprika, and a mixture of white wine and vinegar. It is really amazing. I will keep the Escabeche on hand in my freezer for future mussel cravings! Serve it with some crusty bread like Baguette or Ciabatta!
Civet of Venison with Porcini Mushrooms
When we were travelling in Barcelona in December, I noticed that wild game was a frequent visitor on the menus in Catalan restaurants, and in the winter months, stews were a particular favorite. I was thinking that another mixture of meat and mushrooms were in order. I figured venison would go well with the earthiness of Porcini mushrooms, and to add a bit of spice and sweetness, I paired them with Chorizo.
Asparagus – or Celery – Velouté with Bacon Croutons
Velouté means velvet, and that defines this soup perfectly! I have made several versions of this soup and each time, everyone loves it! This soup can serve as a starter for a heartier dish like Boeuf or Lapin Bourguignon, or serve a larger portion for a full meal. This dish seems really impressive, but it…