domenica 4 maggio 2014

Marinated anchovies

The kitchen is tradition and, as such, culture. A lot of recipes of the local kitchens are impregnated with history and they have been being handed down for centuries for generation in generation. Some typical products, in many cases, also become symbol and media protagonists of a territory for their rituality, their content artistic-manual and the aesthetics that express them.
In Sicily the whole food is symbol and the island traditional kitchen shows all the characters of its people: from that more "aristocrat", of the baroques and opulent dishes left each other by the Monsùs; to the more "plebeian", that it finds again in the dishes of the agricultural and seafearing custom.
Today, luckily, in the society don't exist anymore social barriers due to titles and to honors and the same revolution has been transferring in the vision of the gastronomy. So many gods, considered in the past a dime a dozen, have been rehabilitated by the dietary and nutritional point of view and recognized as of the delicacies, thanks also to their territorial exclusiveness.
Among these we find all the "blue fish": mackerel, needle-fishes, longfin tuna, sardines, alaccie[1], anchovies. This type of fish has been being for centuries the fruit of the island fishing and we have many recipes in which it is protagonist: fried, roasted, all’acqua pazza[2], in bittersweet, marinated, with the onion, with the tomato sauce.
Mine prefer are the anchovies, then if they are marinated I find them irresistible. Greek and Romans were teachers in the maintenance of the fish and, possibly, the recipe of the "marinated Anchovies" comes us from them. Here I propose you that of my family.

Ingredients: 500 gr. of anchovies; 3-4 cloves of garlic; salt; red hot chilli pepper or black pepper (according your taste); white vinegar; juice of 1 lemon; extravirgin oil of olive; oregano.
Procedure: Wash quickly the fish under the fresh water. Scale, if necessary, the anchovies, eliminate the head, bone opening them "to book[3]" and set as soon as in a bowl with plentiful white vinegar.
Marinate about an half of hour or until the meat of fish will not be white. Then, rinse out them and dry well with rolling paper.

Put them in a pan making many beds, seasoning every bed with salt, red hot chilli pepper or blackpepper, slices of garlic, oregano, vinegar and juice of lemon, oil of olive.
Make to rest in the refrigerator at least for two hours before to eat them.
Suggestion: Serve them as inviting appetizer, sprinkled of minced fresh parsley, of the thin slices of fresh lemon and with some warm croutons of bread. If then you accompany all this with a fresh wine glass of Sicilian white wine as the White Etna, your senses will thank you.
Precaution: for the marinading you not used copper or aluminum containers because the acids of the marinading make to release poisonous substances.

[1] Alaccia, Sardinella aurita, is of the same family of the sardines but it meat it is less appreciated because is reach of fat.
[2] Fish “all'acqua pazza” is simmered in water flavoured with much garlic, olive oil, parsley and tomato. In the past, when the sea water was clean, the fishermen used it to cook their catch while still at sea.
[3] I think that in English the correct term for this kind of procedure is “butterfly”.