Of all the ingredients used in Italian cooking, none produces headier flavor than anchovies. … Chopped anchovy dissolving into the cooking juices of a roast divests itself of its explicit identity while it contributes to the meat’s depth of taste.” –Marcella Hazan, Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking
If you’ve only experienced anchovies as those slimy things that ruined your perfectly good pepperoni pizza, hear us out: You haven’t experienced the best side of the little fish yet. We admit that the most delicious way to enjoy anchovies is when they’re smashed and complementing another food.
After all, there has to be a reason the fish is so prominent in Spanish, Italian, French and Greek cuisine. Besides taste, it’s certainly flexible – anchovies and white wine can sauce a fillet of halibut. Or melt into a sauce of butter and capers for veal scaloppine. Or garnish beef patties.
Picking the right anchovies is key, too, as they widely vary in quality, from the big fillets to the tiny whole fish you get in tin cans. We suggest you try…both. See what you like – they both store for a while in the fridge. Those $2 tin cans are as delicious as they are cheap, especially broken down or mingled in fat like butter or olive oil and combined with meat or veggies.
That’s the flavour you recognize from a Caesar salad: that instant saltiness that’s a nod to the ocean. It’s all about balancing that highly salty taste, and there’s no replacing anchovies from that point forward.
What we found to work best? Using anchovies to flavour chicken. We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but it may be the greatest coming together of ingredients since bacon and seafood.
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