[Sca-cooks] Anchovies - what to do?

Stefan li Rous StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Sat Jan 30 23:28:59 PST 2010

Giano asked:
<<< It's great to have Turkish communities in your city! I just got a  
kilo of deep-frozen Black Sea anchovies very cheap. Not salted, not  
filleted, not even gutted. My question is - whatdo I do with them? >>>

Doing a quick search in the Florilegium for "anchovies" turns up lots  
of possibilities including garum. The only anchovies I've ever seen  
came in cans, usually in olive or other oil. I wish I could get those  
frozen ones here.

A *few* examples:
 From the vegetables-msg file:
Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2001 18:46:22 -0700 (PDT)
From: Terri Spencer <taracook at yahoo.com>
To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org
Subject: [Sca-cooks] Scappi's Aromatic Spinach

As for veggies, what could be more strengthening than spinach?  The
recipe from _Renaissance Recipes_ caught my attention when Christianna
and I looked up Michelangelo's lenten menu - yes, it was there in both
of our libraries all the time.  The recipe as given:

Aromatic Spinach

2-3 lbs. fresh leaf spinach
1/2 cup dried fruit
4 salted whole anchovies
1/2 cup pine kernels
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt, pepper, white sugar, and cinnamon to taste
Balsamic vinegar

Wash the spinach under cold running water...dry and put into a large
pan.  Cover and cook slowly over low heat, turning gently from time to
time until the leaves wilt.  Rinse salt from the anchovies and chop
them into quarter-inch lengths.  Warm them through in a little olive
oil.  Fry the pine kernels untile golden.  Soak the dried fruit in a
little Balsamic vinegar.  When the spinach is tender but not soggy,
pour off any juices and stir in the rest.  Season with spices.

 From the Sicily-msg file in the CULTURES section:

Date: Thu, 19 Aug 1999 12:46:31 -0500
From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD  at Health.State.OK.US>
Subject: SC - OOP - Sicilian eggplant dishes (long)

Tabacchiere di Melanzane (Eggplant snuffboxes)  Serves 6

3 smallish eggplants
1 medium onion
1/2 cup olive oil
10 anchovy fillets
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup parsley
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup capers
1 cup toasted breadcrumbs
1/3 cup finely dice salami (optional)
2 or 3 egg whites, beaten until foamy
2 cups dried bread crumbs
vegetable oil for frying

Wash the eggplants, remove the stems, cut in half vertically, and  
hollow out
each half, leaving 1/2 inch shells.  Put both the shells and the pulp to
soak in salted water for 2 hours.  Rinse and drain.  Blanch the shells  
boiling water for about 5 minutes and drain.

Mince or grate the onion, then saute it in 1/2 cup olive oil until soft.
Roughly chop the pulp of the eggplant and add it to the onion.  Saute  
about 10 minutes or until soft, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.

Cook the anchovies in 1 teaspoon oil over steam until creamy.*  Mince  
parsley, the garlic and the capers, then add along with the anchovies  
to the
eggplant-and-onion mixture.  Stir in the toasted breadcrumbs and  
salami, if
using it.  Blend thoroughly, adding a little oil if necessary to make a
fairly compact filling.

Fill the eggplant shells with the pulp-an-crumb mixture, pressing down  
make it as compact as possible.  Bind the stuffed shells by dipping both
sides in the beaten egg whites and then in the dried bread crumbs.  Make
sure they are well coated.

Fry the eggplant in 1/4 inch hot oil until well browned on each side.   
sure to begin frying with the filling side down, even though this takes
careful handling; otherwise escaping air bubbles will crack the  
crust.  Turn
and fry the skin side.  Drain on absorbent paper and serve at room

*In a seperate pan or double boiler (I always use a small double-handled
frying pan that will sit on top of my spaghetti pot), cook the anchovies
together with one teaspoon of olive oil, stirring them until they  
into a ceam.  This must be done over steam and not over the direct  
lest the anchovies turn bitter.

Recipes are taken from:  Simeti, Mary Taylor, Pomp an Sustenance,
Twenty-five Centuries of Sicilian Food; Knopf, New York, 1989.   
available from The Ecco Press as a trade paperback, $19.95.  ISBN

THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
    Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas          StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at:  http://www.florilegium.org ****

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