You’re dying to know..you can’t fool Lula. What in the world ARE capers? Answer – capers, sometimes called caperberries, are the unopened, pickled flower buds of the trailing Capparis spinosa shrub that grows in desert regions. Most of these shrubs grow in the Sahara and surrounding regions. They can be found, however, in various climates that are dry and arid – southern France, for example, and any other place (Texas comes to mind) with similar climate.
There are 170 or so species, and we know they’ve been used in cuisine since around 600 BC. The younger the caper, the better. In France, gourmets pick the berries every two days off of the shrubs to ensure the best flavor. Capers are one of the primary ingredients in any “piccata” dish. Lula’s for Lunch..and More! Catering uses capers in our Chicken, Veal (it goes without saying free range!), Pork, and Salmon Piccatas, as well as in our Tuna Tapenade Salad and our Nicoise creations. You can find these selections at our Lula’s for Lunch website and order them any time – because capers come pickled they are not “seasonal” – though people tend to prefer light, refreshing piccatas throughout spring and summer. Which is happening now. Put a little piquancy in your life! Enjoy!
FISH, that is! A fun fact: Salmon get their “rose” color from eating pink crustaceons…as do FLAMINGOS!!!
Fish are predominantly “white meat” …but there are exceptions with the more active fish, like tuna, which produces more red myoglobin in their more muscular areas. In general, water is a “weightless” environment and fish are designed to survive using very quick, darting movements to escape prey, as opposed to say, the cow, who has to fight gravity and endure the onerous task of walking (or in the old days believe it or not, running – think of a buffalo stampede). So, the protein fibers are shorter and thinner in fish than in land animals. They break down much more easily when cooked – so take far less time.
Because of the weightless environment of water, fish don’t need the connective tissue (ligaments, cartilage, tendons – which produce collagen) for their muscles to be bound to each other and to the skeleton, and once again, yet another reason that they can be cooked very quickly.
In fact, PLEASE don’t cook your fish more than 10 minutes for every inch of thickness (a lovely 4-6 ounce of orange roughy or salmon filet will only take about 2-3 minutes per side, in fact, if you’re sauteeing) … you’ll just get tough flavorless fish. So…in short…a VERY smart meal for us working gals short on time but wanting big flavor. Any questions on how to prepare email me at Lori@lulasforlunch.com and…the question still remains…Red or White?!?