I Love Anchovies! The Little Misunderstood Fish
The anchovy is a teeny weenie fish that most people immediately say they do not like when you mention the word. So, when people ask me what is in a particular dish I have made, I never mention anchovies until after they have ateen it. I may not mention it even then.
For myself, I want them even if the dish does not call for them. When I go to a restaurant, I am happy when I know they are in a dish. There is something comforting in having a meal that has anchovies included. I love the unique and salty taste.
Anchovies come from the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean and are used in a lot of Italian recipes and Spanish cooking. Many of us in the US know them just seeing them on pizza parlor menus. There is so much more to them than that.
The first time I had an anchovy was the first time I had a pizza. That was eons ago. Anchovies are extremely salty so I thought it had to be the weirdest thing I had ever ateen. It did not turn me off completely, though. There was something intriguing about the taste. The second time I had them on pizza, I was hooked. Such an interesting mix. Anchovies, cheese, tomatoes, oregano. Then I discovered Caesar Salad. I was so disappointed when I realized some restaurants did not even serve anchovies in their Caesar salads.
Mostly, we see anchovies in small tins and they are either flat or rolled. That is what I used most of the time. One day when I went to my favorite Italian deli here in Washington DC for some deli meats and cheeses, I decided to buy some whole anchovies.
I was not disappointed. They were delicious! The whole anchovies do take a little more work than those in the can, because you have to fillet them yourself. They are very small. You have to rinse them to get rid of the salt they are packed in before using them in a recipe. You must remove the heads and tails, then split them and carefully lift out the bones. Wow, though; they are well worth the extra effort!
I use the tinnered or jarred anchovies packed in olive oil on a regular basis in my dishes. I add them to frozen pizzas and mash them into olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice for a great dressing add to tomato and lettuce salads. I also use them in a chicken and hard boiled egg salad with mayonnaise dressing.
For breakfast, I put them in an omelet with fresh cracked pepper, tomatoes andions. Sometimes I add grated cheese. The salty taste goes great with mashed potatoes and every time I put out my deviled eggs that have anchovies in them, they are gone in a flash! I have been known to have a meal of just toasted garlic bread spread with either anchovy butter or mashed anchovies with mayo and sliced tomatoes on top. Wonderful with some chilled Prosecco.
This little misunderstood fish is not all that scary. It is amazing that the way you handle them masks the fishy flavor. So get brave. Enjoy some recipes with anchovies. You will be treated to some fabulous flavor!