|Caper Sauce (Alcaparrado)|
Crumble saffron threads into 1 1/2 cups chicken stock and let steep several minutes. Heat vegetable oil in skillet until very hot but not quite smoking. Add pumpkin seeds (carefully, because they tend to pop violently as they hit hot oil). Cook, stirring constantly, until they are puffed and have nutty fragrance, about 30 seconds. Do not let them burn or they will turn dish bitter. Drain on paper towels.
In same skillet, heat olive oil until very hot. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until just until wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Add sliced roll and cook, stirring, until golden brown on all sides, 3 to 5 minutes. Add peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon and oregano, then cook, stirring, until aroma of spices is released, about 2 minutes longer. Add capers with brine and stir well to combine. Simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes on low heat. Add 1 cup saffron-steeped chicken stock and simmer 5 minutes more. Let cool, then place in blender and process until well pureed, about 30 seconds. Add drained pumpkin seeds and puree until smooth.
Thin with remaining 1/2 cup stock, if needed for desired consistency.
Alcaparrado is made with only one major New World ingredient--pumpkin seeds, which replace the almonds that would have been used in Moorish and Spanish cooking. The sauce is delicious with grilled or broiled fish or pan-fried boneless chicken breast.
From: Martinez Owner of Zarela Restaurant in New York
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