Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Anchovies, while we have them

The chicken paillard has undergone an improvement. First make bagna cauda, below. Then reserve a couple of tablespoons of it for your next day's paillard, and add them to your favourite vinaigrette. No, your favourite vinaigrette does not come ready-made out of a bottle, not even if the bottle has Paul Newman (may-he-live-forever)'s face on it. Use sherry vinegar. It's nice. I would say four parts oil (EV olive, or walnut?) to one part vinegar but since I'm using less oil these days, I say wing it. And dissolve your pinches of sugar and salt in the vinegar before adding the oil. They can't dissolve in oil. Cracked pepper can be added any time. It will never dissolve. Ever.

Anyhoo, toss the leaves you have (arugula, flat parsley, frisee) in the anchovied vinaigrette and pile on top of your chicken breast. Which could also be a veal chop. In my dreams.

At the risk of repeating myself. Bagna cauda (anchoiade in France, le South): for two people or one hungry person (me, you):

6 anchovy fillets (those are the salties)
6 fat cloves garlic, roughly chopped
About 5 tablespoons EV olive oil (a tablespoon is 12.5ml. So 5 tablespoons = 62.5 ml which = a quarter cup, but it sounds much better to say 5 tablespoons)

[Can one be friends with someone who does not like anchovies?]

Put this lot in a small heavy-bottomed (even though this is what one is trying to avoid being, in life) saucepan. I have a very cute cast iron one (pot). Over very. low. heat. This is because you are not frying your garlic and salties. You are persuading them to melt. After fifteen to twenty minutes the garlic should be very soft and the salties tender and fluffy. Break them up with a fork. It's ready. For kicks you could add lemon juice, a squeeze. The real thing has butter in it. Up to you. Now it's ready for dipping. Raw carrots, beetroot batons, endive...anything than can act as a shovel for the deliciousness.

And, of course, good crusty bread. One tries not to, but does one succeed?


  1. One tries not to what? Write delicious recipes? Then one definitely doesn't succeed. ;-)

    Well, this is very, very good news. After all, with all this fuss about bees and salmons, and baby seals, and ozone (I should know) disappearing, I was getting nervous. But now I know for a fact that cracked pepper will never dissolve. Ever. I feel much better.

    Vive l'anchoïade!

  2. Thanks, Ozone Boy. Or should I just call you Stripes?

  3. -raising her hand eagerly- Me! Me!

    -recites- Err, fish are friends, not food!

    (all in reference to anchovies that is)

  4. Stripes. Funny. They're still visible.

    I would've needed a Bimini. ;-) (That one's for you, Gitte...)

  5. Tudieu Venssang, je t'ai presque pas reconnu avé l'assent, peuchère.
    (Et encore une fois c'est exactement ce que j'allais dire pour Bimini :)


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