Melt the Anchovies in Oil and Add to Everything

Since canned foods have an important point, I would say now is the time to revisit the humble canned anchovies. They have a reputation for being exceptionally fishy and salty – and these rumors aren’t entirely true – but they also have deep minerality and tons of minds. When melted in butter (or olive oil), you can use the vibrant nature of the little fish to add a touch of flavor to any savory dish.

If bones bother you, don’t worry. The tiny fish bones break down directly into the vegetable oil, but you can always knead the fillets with a pestle and mortar if you need to be more confident. If – due to the anti-anchovy pizza propaganda – you fear overfishing, start with a couple tablespoons of oil per fish, and then increase the fillets until you feel comfortable changing that ratio.

Once the anchovies are melted in oil (just cook over medium heat and knead them with a wooden spoon until they dissolve), you can decide which dish is best to refresh with this powerful, aromatic mixture. Pasta sauce is a good place to start, as the anchovy oil will add a deep savory flavor that, thanks to the sour tomatoes, won’t feel fishy. After you eat this, add more oil from the anchovies, then dilute the oil by whisking it with olive oil (or more ghee) and pour over fried vegetables (especially potatoes) or a large bowl of popcorn. After the rain, you’re ready to dip. Melt at least five fish in half a glass of butter – perhaps this time with a little garlic – and dip the fried artichoke leaves and radishes directly into it. Do you have frozen large fish fillets or defrosted shrimp that seem a little bland? Brush them with anchovy oil to enhance the flavor of the seafood.

Basically, if a savory food needs a little more flavor, anchovy butter is the quickest way to add flavor. At the very least, it’s a great pantry pasta base – just mix it with your favorite noodles and a little pasta water, then add bread crumbs, powdered sugar, or whatever else you have. “Who is Cacio e pepe?” that’s what you say. Cacio e pepe who ?


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