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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

ANCHOA, LACHA, BOQUERÓN WITH THE QUEEN OF MEDIEVAL TAPAS RECIPE ANCHOVIES IN VINEGAR

THE QUEEN OF MEDIEVAL TAPAS' LITTLE SISTER
SMALL ANCHOVIES SAVED FOR FRYING 
Photo by: mrsamper

OCast alcha, alache, aleche, haleche, seitó, Cat. seitó,  OCat. saitón, saytón, varial, varral, L. Engraulis encrasicholus, Ar. shutūn, Eng European anchovy. It about three inches in length and is found and caught in vast numbers in the Mediterranean and in the Basque country on the Atlantic Ocean. They are salted and packed headless and gutted or whole in salt and oil in barrels and allowed to marinate for about four months at temperatures up too 30°C until the flesh is completely red. Nola states that they must be eaten in April. He provides a recipe for baked anchovies with raisins, almonds and pine nuts. [ES: Carroll-Mann. Guisados 2-art. Jun 6, 01: ftn 144; Gázquez. Cocina, 2002:244; Nola. 1989:lxv-1:lxvi-4; Nola/Iranzo. 1982:172; and Nola/Pérez. 1994:171-172:214]


THE QUEEN OF MEDIEVAL TAPAS - ANCHOVIES IN VINEGAR 
Boquerones en vinagre
(Anchovies in vinegar) Photo by: carme-cuina MiK
RECIPE BY MRSAMPER 
for 6 persons

1 lb fresh anchovies
1 tbsp salt
wine vinegar (sherry vinegar containing 7º of acidity is recommended)
extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch chopped parsley
1 sliced garlic clove

Preparation

Snap the backbone just behind the head and pull the guts out with the head or take a small sharp knife to cut through the backbone, taking care not to cut all the way through and pull. Remove the backbone by running a finger along the spine of the fish, flattening it out into two fillets. Wash them with salt in a bowl with very cold water and ice. Change water as needed. This makes the meat firm. Separate the small anchovies from the bigger ones and save them for frying.

When well washed fold them back together and place in layers in a glass or earthenware dish (never use metal). Cover with quality vinegar. The acid content should not be high or the flavor will be too strong and kill the flavor of the anchovies. If it is too strong add a little water.

Refrigerate covered until they begin to change color becoming white, about 2 hours but if small one hour is enough. Watch carefully so as not to let them become too white. When ready drain off the vinegar and cover with olive oil. Sprinkle with parsley and garlic. Serve with bread (chips are good but not medieval) and wine or beer.

They will keep 4-5 days in the refrigerator if completely covered with olive oil and if the no two legged cats steal them!

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