Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A is for Anchovy

The anchovy is a tiny fish – there are 144 species in 17 genera (families?) which is something I didn’t know. The following is a copy from Wikipedia.

A traditional method of processing and preserving anchovies is to gut and salt anchovythem in brine, allow them to mature, and then pack them in oil or salt. This results in a characteristic strong flavor and the flesh turns deep grey. Pickled in vinegar, as with Spanish boquerones, anchovies are milder and the flesh retains a white color. In Roman times, anchovies were the base for the fermented fish sauce garum. Garum had a sufficiently long shelf life for long-distance commerce, and was produced in industrial quantities. Anchovies were also eaten raw as an aphrodisiac. Today, they are used in small quantities to flavor many dishes. Because of the strong flavor, they are also an ingredient in several sauces and condiments, including Worcestershire sauce, Caesar salad dressing, remoulade, Gentleman's Relish, many fish sauces, and in some versions of Café de Paris butter. For domestic use, anchovy fillets are packed in oil or salt in small tins or jars, sometimes rolled around capers. Anchovy paste is aanchovies-1_sqllso available. Fishermen also use anchovies as bait for larger fish, such as tuna and sea bass.

The strong taste people associate with anchovies is due to the curing process. Fresh anchovies, known in Italy as alici, have a much milder flavor. In Sweden and Finland, the name anchovies is related strongly to a traditional seasoning, hence the product "anchovies" is normally made of sprats and herring can be sold as "anchovy-spiced". Fish from the Engraulidae family are instead known as sardell in Sweden and sardelli in Finland, leading to confusion when translating recipes.

Unfortunately many people, unfamiliar with anchovies, have tried them straight out of their tins or jars and found them to be most unpleasant. With reason. They should generally NOT be eaten that way. As it says above, eaten as part of a recipe or sauce, they become a wonderful addition and even if you don’t like fish, they DON’T impart a fishy flavour to things but generally give a somewhat salty taste which can be delicious.

Matt and I love this dish and have made it many times. I call it English Peppers because it was an Englishwoman I first saw making it on TV many years ago. Do try it, I promise you won’t taste any fish. In fact I usually add a bit more anchovy.

English Stuffed Peppers

2 Red PeppersEnglish Stuffed Peppers
3 Medium Tomatoes
4 Anchovy Fillets
12 Slices of Garlic
2 Tbs olive oil
French Bread

1. Cut peppers in half vertically and clean. Peel tomatoes and cut in to pieces. Stuff in to peppers. Snip one anchovy fillet per pepper half over tomatoes and add 4 slices of garlic to each pepper. Spoon olive oil over each pepper and roast for 1 hr in an oven preheated to 350F. Serve with crusty bread.

Have a great day
Jo

49 comments:

  1. Hi Jo - love anchovies .. and I do eat them (a little) out of the tin .. add them to salads etc ... they are delicious - to me .. but can believe they're not to everyone's taste .. cheers Hilary

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    1. Me too Hilary, but lots of people complain because straight out of the tin is the only way they have tried them and they do tend to be rather pungent that way. However, I use them a lot and think they taste wonderful. No Caesar Salad would be the same without them.

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  2. I do not like anchovies, but I do use them in my Cafe de Paris butter. My Dad used to get them on his pizza and they seemed to permeate everybody else's pie.

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    1. I love them but they are best as a flavouring agent I think. I used to get them on pizza too until someone put dollops of anchovy paste on my pizza and that was not good. What's Café de Paris butter?

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    2. I blogged about it year's ago : http://msdeniseh553.blogspot.com/2012/10/foodie-stuff.html

      It really is good on vegetables. I should do a post with my version some day.

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    3. I'll check it out.. Thanks. Anything to use on veg is good.

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    4. You're right, what a lot of ingredients. I've saved a copy. I like sauces I can use with steak too.

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  3. I love fresh anchovies, but not the preserved ones.

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    1. I don't think I've ever had a fresh anchovy.

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  4. I love anchovies in salsa ... great flavour ... Sadly I can't take salty flavours these days and miss the wonderful punch they gave. Great recipe Jo and a good start to the A to Z.
    Fil
    Fil’s Place - Old songs and Memories

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    1. Not sure I have had them in salsa Fil. That's a pity if you can't handle them any more.

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  5. Not a fan. We had dinner at a friend's house once and her dad made his 'famous' Caesar salad and apparently anchovies are used in the dressing. I found it way, way too fishy tasting and I didn't like it one bit.

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    1. If it tasted fishy he used too much anchovy. It shouldn't taste fishy at all.

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  6. I like the salty taste of anchovies. Although we should be very careful while using it.

    I shall try this recipe for sure.

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    1. I agree, too much is a bad thing with anchovies.

      Hope you enjoy it, we do.

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  7. Anchovies are a bit much for me but sometimes I like them on pizza.

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    1. What about Caesar Salad Dixie? Can't do a good one without some anchovy. Try this recipe too, it's good.

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  8. When I still ate fish, I tried them on pizza once. It wasn't bad, but almost too salty even for me.

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    1. Yes, they are very much an acquired taste I guess and not something you want too much of whatever you use them in.

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  9. Here is where wifey and I differ. She loves anchovies. Me, not so much.

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  10. I don't eat anchovies as I'm vegetarian, but it takes all sorts. BTW your link on the sign up list has two s in hendersson. I guessed right, but thought you might like to know.

    Jemima

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    1. Thanks Jemima, I will mention it to Alex. He has nothing to do after all LOL.

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  11. I've never tried anchovies; I have weird things about texture. However, they're in Worcestershire sauce, which I use in a lot of coooking, so I think the flavor is good.

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    1. Also in Caesar Salad dressing if it's made properly. I love Worcestershire Sauce.

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  12. I've tried them and didn't like them. Didn't eat them out of the can though. That sounds disgusting.

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    1. Don't you like Caesar Salad Alex?

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  13. Lovely post. I am going to try this recipe too. I'm looking for just that sort of thing, that is low effort, high reward, in terms of taste. I'm crazy about anchovies. I even like them on pizza. I'll eat them straight out of the jar but that's just me. So many things in life are a matter of taste.

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    1. I love them too, I like them on pizza as well, but I don't eat pizza much. I love them flavouring things such as the recipe above.

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  14. I will have to pass on the anchovies. I am ate a pizza with them on it once as a little girl and I about got sick. I'll have to look forward to B :)

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    1. Well now you are a big girl and you should try them in something like the recipe above. It really is delicious Liz.

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  15. Can't say I've tried anchovies, but I imagine any fish tastes better fresh rather than from a can. :)

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    1. Yes and no David. The canned ones are incredibly suitable for flavourings like Worcester sauce, Caesar sauce, my recipe above. The fresh ones would not be suitable for those. Two different animals really.

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  16. I am so NOT a fish person! Love to catch them, but can't eat them. But my husband does. I wonder if I could be brave enough to make this recipe for him?! Nice to know they have a milder flavor done in different ways, but sorry to say, I can taste the "fish" in most things they are added to. My mother says she doesn't know where I came from, and how can I be her daughter and not eat fish, especially being born in Florida!

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    1. Not only that Lisa, your French background. I don't find this dish tastes of fish at all but then I wouldn't mind if it did.

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  17. I don't think I've tried anchovies but I absolutely LOVE the boquerones. They are very good in combination with piñas coladas. :) Dragon hugs!

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    1. I'd never heard of boquerones before, I had to Google. They sound delicious. Love piñas coladas, haven't had one in a loong time. Anchovies, in tins, are very salty and make a very good addition to many foods. GMD hugs to you.

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  18. Totally do love anchovies and can't even resist eating them out of the jar- recipe sounds delicious :-)

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    1. Nice to hear some pros for anchovies. I know there are lots who don't like them, but it's sad when they are so delicious that people don't like them.

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  19. Anchovies I love. I ordered the Spanish ones from a deli in Michigan. And I do eat them out of the tin (sometimes), although the ones from the deli arrive in a plastic/paper thing. Your recipe sounds delish but I cannot eat tomatoes anymore, the dreaded GERD is what I have. : (

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    1. Don't know about Spanish ones, must check into it. You have mentioned GERD before Natasha and I am sure I suggested you investigate Tecta. It has virtually eliminated my problems.

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  20. This is interesting. I've never had them before. Thanks for a post that's now got me curious.

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    1. You must have eaten a Caesar salad surely Ivy? They are used in the dressing. They are also in Worcester sauce, which I had forgotten. Don't try them, for the first time, straight out of the can or whatever packaging, it might put you right off. It is only we habitués that can eat those.

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  21. Anytime I can find a restaurant that serves anchovies with its Caesar Salad.... *that's* when I know it's a good one :)

    PS... don't tell anyone, but that picture of me jumping off the huge rock? The sand was only about a foot below me :)

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    1. OK I won't tell anyone. Did hear about the guy who jumped 200ft into the water today or yesterday. Damned fool hurt himself quite badly I gather.

      Oh yes, anchovies are a must in Caesar Salad.

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  22. Oh, yum! Visiting from the Challenge!

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