© Copyright 1995-2017, Clay Irving <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Manhattan Beach, CA USA
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I found fresh anchovies at the Farmers Market this morning. I made them before by marinading them in lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and parsley, but there are several other ways to use fresh anchovies. First, you have to clean them — This is a time consuming, tedious job.
Cleaning fresh anchovies:
To prepare fresh anchovies, rub the scales off with your fingers or a cloth. Use a sharp knife cut off the heads then make an incision along the stomach and remove the insides and back-bone. Rinse inside and out under cold running water and dry on kitchen paper.
Fresh anchovies are great marinaded! The first recipe is an Italian recipe for Bruschetta con Alicette Marinate (Marinaded Anchovies):
Marinate fresh anchovies in white wine vinegar for four hours or so, rinse them off, and preserve them under oil with some herbs. When ready to serve, just toast some bread and serve the anchovies with some grilled cippoline onions that are also preserved under oil.
This is another recipe I found:
A wine writer from Perpignan told me most vinegar-cured anchovies are so vinegary they "destroy the wine." He suggested I use only a little vinegar, a bit of salt and lots of olive oil for the overnight cure in the refrigerator. I decided to use only a few capfuls of vinegar and substitute white wine, lemon juice, and a few drops of Tabasco. (I found a little bottle of it at a supermarche in Perpignan and decided it was a taste of home I could not do without.) I doused the mixture with olive oil, sprinkled on some salt and put it in the refrigerator.
This is a Spanish recipe for Boquerones (Fresh Anchovies):
Fresh boquerones (anchovies)
Sliced garlic and chopped parsley
Scrape scales off fish.
Top and tail.
Open from head to vent along underside and wash out entrails.
Remove central bone by lifting it with the fingers from tail to head.
Soak fillets overnight in a mixture of half white vinegar, half water - enough liquid to cover well.
Change liquid once.
Discard vinegar/water mixture.
Place boquerones in a dish and cover with virgin extra olive oil.
Add plenty of sliced garlic and chopped parsley.
For a special treat, use sherry vinegar the marinade!
Anchovies can also be marinaded in lemon juice:
1 pound Fresh Anchovies, cleaned and gutted
Salt and Pepper
7 fluid ounces Olive Oil
Divide the fish into fillets and pat dry on kitchen paper.
Arrange in a single layer in a large shallow dish and squeeze the juice of 5 of the lemons over the top.
Season with salt and pepper then cover loosely with clingfilm, and refrigerate and leave to marinate for at least 12 hours.
Remove the fish from the marinade and transfer to a serving dish. Pour over the olive oil and garnish with the remaining lemon which has been thinly sliced.
Fresh anchovies can be fried:
With practice, I found that if I just ripped the head off, most of the innards were pulled out with it, especially if I pre-slit the belly. I got a skillet hot with a little oil in it, shook the anchovies with flour and salt and pepper, and dumped 'em in. Then just turned them over a couple of times, pitched them out onto a plate, and ate. They were very good. Then I was stuck with this skillet with a little anchovy flavored oil in it, so I sliced up this real tired potato and sautéed it, a treat I haven't had in ages.
They can be baked and served "au Gratin":
1-½ pound Fresh Anchovies
4 fluid ounces Olive Oil
2 garlic Cloves, crushed
3 tablespoon Fresh White Breadcrumbs
Salt and Pepper
½ teasp Dried Oregano
Preheat the oven to 425F. Grease a shallow ovenproof dish.
Arrange the anchovies in the greased dish and pour most of the olive oil over them. Reserve a little olive oil for later use. Sprinkle with the finely chopped garlic, oregano and seasoning.
Mix the parsley with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle the mixture evenly over the fish. Pour over the reserved olive oil and bake for 15 minutes.
Serve hot as a starter.
The breadcrumbs can be eliminated and lemon juice or fresh tomato sauce can be used to bake the anchovies. This is an Italian recipe for Acciughe in Forno (Baked Anchovies):
Chop their heads off, clean them by running the tip of a knife up the belly from the anus and scooping out the internal organs, rinse them, and pat them dry. Take a Pyrex baking dish that's big enough for you to lay the fish down in a single layer and do so. Mince several cloves of garlic and a handful of parsley and spread the mixture over the fish. Drizzle a little olive oil over them too, then the juice of a lemon, or some fresh tomato sauce, and bake the fish in a 400°F oven for about 20 minutes.
You can even throw anchovies on the grill:
1 pound fresh anchovies
4 ounces extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
¼ cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
½ cup pitted olives
Heat charcoal grill.
Under cold running water, scale and gut the anchovies, removing the gills, but leaving the head and tail intact. Remove the fins. Open the body cavity, and using your thumbnail, loosen the meat of the fish from the spine. Gently remove the spine by twisting or cutting it off a the base of the anchovy's head and tail.
Grill the anchovies over a hot charcoal fire, skin side down for about 2 minutes, or until the flesh of the fish becomes white. Transfer to a large serving platter, arranging the anchovies skin side up on the platter. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the fish. Drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper. Sprinkle the parsley and olives over the anchovies and serve immediately.