Secret Ingredient

anchovies-can-stack

That’s my little dirty secret. Dirty, because, you know, it’s not local. Shhh … don’t tell anybody. (I drink coffee too)

Use immoderately: in tomato sauce (of puttanesca inspiration); mashed in salad dressing (beyond Caesar) – really good with steamed baby leeks; cooked with Swiss chard or spinach until it has melted in; pounded with nuts, garlic & cream and tossed with pasta; with garlic, lots of it, olive oil and pasta; in tapenade – bien sur! nothing secret there, isn’t it?; to boost the flavor of a meat stew; on pizza; with caramelized onions; in mayonnaise spread… PriceClub used to carry big glass jar full of them little fishies, but Costco does not: I have to buy them in little tins. Which I do. In quantity. Keeps forever, right? except, they don’t last that long.

And fish sauce which is often made from fermented “it” anyway. For stir-fries, and rice-based soups,

What’s your secret ingredient?



7 thoughts on “Secret Ingredient”

  • Hmm i never would have thought that anchovies could be a secret ingredient, since they’re so assertive…but they do “melt” into things like tapenade and puttanesca sauces. The only thing i cook with as much abandon is onions…which can go from being strong, faw, and overpowering to soft, sweet, and translucent.

  • I love anchovies but was wondering if you had any recommendations for sardines. I made a lemony sardine dip that was featured on Dorie Greenspan’s site, and I loved it.

  • Matt – do you mean fresh sardines? I don’t really use canned sardines – although somebody in the household bought some by mistake – instead of anchovies – a while ago. Really, I should serve them with plain rice and a big green salad soon – like when I was growing up, it was a meatless day and my parents did not have time to cook.

    I like to grill fresh sardine on a very hot outdoor fire and serve with lemon. They are also very good baked with a tomato sauce and lots of chopped garlic.
    and then you may want to check this post for Sardines à l’Escabèche
    http://frenchletters.wordpress.com/2008/08/18/hooked-on-sardines/

    It’s a fish i like to buy when I find it – rarely! – as it is so economical.

  • Sylvie,
    I wish I had access to fresh sardines. Unfortunately, I can only get canned which I know are different in flavor and texture from what I understand.

    Grilled sardines as well as the other preparations you mentioned sound delicious. I’ll have to start my search for the fresh varieties!

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