I say Anchovy, you say Bleccch.
That’s just how it goes, and it’s unfortunate. I fully understand – my first experience with the feeder fish came on pizza, sort of as a dare, and all I remember is that its flavor enveloped (and ruined) the entire pie. It wasn’t until I lived in Seattle and had the Cauliflower Anchovy spread at Lola that I began to realize the potential of this boldly-favored, powerful little fish.
Encountering them again in Italy and at Italian restaurants in the states, served either on crusty bread, or solo, usually with parsley, served to further grow my respect for the fish, and their umami-packed flavor. And realizing that anchovies form the base of the traditional Caesar salad dressing proves that anchovies are a flavor-enhancement more than anything, and truly worthy of a Yessss rather than a Bleccch.
In this recipe, inspired by the wonderful handmade linguine I encountered at the Studio City Farmers Market this weekend, I hope to show that anchovies are not only accessible, but a crucial part of a dish that is simple, delicious, and perfect for a summer afternoon – even for a two-year old.
I’ve condensed the video (thank you Snapchat) I hope you enjoy.
- linguine, 8-12 oz.
- garlic, 4 cloves, slivered
- anchovies, 6-8 filets
- spinach, two handfuls
- fresh parmesano reggiano
- lemon, juice of one half, reserving other half
- boil a huge pot of water, adding a ton of salt. The water should taste like ocean.
- heat a large pan to medium, adding a healthy amount of EVOO, until the oil is glistening.
- add the garlic, and once that starts to crisp (but not brown), add the anchovy and mash until its a paste.
- put the pasta in the boiling water and cook as per directions (generally two minutes for handmade, 8-12 for store bought).
- add spinach to the pan and stir until wilted, coating with the anchovy/garlic mixture.
- once pasta is cooked properly, add it directly from pot into the pan, stirring until each noodle is coated. there is no need to drain prior to doing this, the excess water helps thin out the mixture and makes more for a saucy approach.
- I like to add a healthy squeeze of lemon at this point, and again prior to serving.
- grate parmesan on top, serve, and picture yourself looking out on to the Adriatic Sea.
Fennel, Celery, Parmesan Salad
An awesome, delicious, simple and VERY surprising salad. I’m not ‘huge’ on fennel, but we grow quite a bit in the garden, and I’m always trying to find creative ways to use it. I spotted this New York Times recipe from 2008 and altered it by adding brown sugar & cayenne for balance/punch. With fresh fennel & celery, a bit of parmesan and the simple, punchy lemon/evoo dressing, this is a refreshing and unique prelude to a great meal. Enjoy.
- fennel bulb, mandolined
- celery, mandolined
- parmesan strips
- juice of two lemons
- 1/4 cup, EVOO
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- generous pinch of brown sugar
- generous pinch of cayenne
- fennel fronds
- mix all ingredients together except for parmesan & fronds
- layer parmesan and fronds on top
Chicken w/ World Cream
A week ago, I was making mushroom toast and was seeking a way to add complexity to the typically rich sauce. I grabbed my favorite flavoring agent – w – and the plummy, syrupy Chinese condiment, hoisin, and simply mixed the three together, which provided a perfect punch for the toast. It also sparked the idea for livening up chicken – so I promised myself that the next time I had some great chicken, I’d prep it out normally and combine it all in this wonderful ‘World Cream’ sauce. as for why I chose that name, let’s just say it sounded more global when I came up with it. I realize only three countries are represented;o)
Add the fact that we had a robust final harvest of kale and chard (both stubborn winter Magnolia Gardens pulls), and I used my Chopped-like instincts to create the final product. I served it with a crusty roll and made mini-sandwiches and it was awesome, but it was just as scrumptious on its own. Enjoy.
- 2 8-oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 bunch chard, kale, or other ‘tough’ green, stems removed and roughly chopped
- 1 shallot, sliced thinly
- 2 jalapenos, minced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- salt, liberal
- pepper, to taste
- cayenne pepper, to taste
- paprika, for color
- turmeric, for color
- 2 tbsp., EVOO
- 1 cup, Mexican crema
- 1/4 cup, Sriracha
- 1 tbsp, sriracha
- season chicken liberally on both sides
- heat EVOO in large sauté pan
- add shallot, garlic, jalapenos to pan and sauté until cooked, but not caramelized
- add greens, and EVOO as necessary
- cook until greens are wilted, caring to not overcook garlic/onions/shallots
- remove onion mixture, setting aside and covering
- deglaze pan with EVOO, and sauté chicken for four-five minutes on each side, until color is nice and chicken is cooked through
- while chicken is sautéing, mix crema, hoisin, sriracha, paprika, turmeric and whisk until smooth. cover, set aside.
- place chicken on wooden cutting board. once sufficiently rested, chop into bite-sized pieces.
- add chicken & onion mixture back to pan with the world cream sauce. Sauté on low until flavors marry (three-five minutes), careful not to overcook sauce.
- Serve with bread, or crusty roll.
an ode to Tamar Adler, and her influential (to me) tome on smart food utilization, An Everlasting Meal.
Simple Poached Egg Toast
- One slice wheat bread, toasted crispy (but not burnt)
- One egg
- Handful of parsley
- Cracked black pepper
- Textured salt, like maldon
- Good, delicious olive oil
- Parmesan cheese, grated fresh
- Boil water, heavily salted with a splash of rice vinegar
- Toast bread
- Once water boils, carefully pour cracked egg into water from teacup from 1″ above surface level
- Take water off heat, let egg sit for between 3-4 minutes, depending on how runny you want yolk
- while egg is in water, tear parsley and cover small plate as a base
- place toast on parsley
- liberally pour olive oil, cracked blacked pepper, grated parmesan cheese on toast
- use slotted spoon to remove egg from water, hold over pot until sufficiently drained
- place egg on toast
- liberally pour olive oil, cracked blacked pepper, grated parmesan cheese on toast (yes, again)
- serve & eat!
(pictured above with Magnolia Gardens blood orange juice and bowl of mixed fruit)