Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sunday Morning Coming Down

Kids love anchovies. Despite all evidence to the contrary - retching, tears, escape – kids really do love anchovies. They just don’t know it yet.

When I refer to anchovies I don’t mean those hairy slithers of brown salt paste baked on to the top of pizzas nor do I mean bog standard supermarket anchovies. No, I mean the real thing. Spanish anchovies from Cantabria or by preference Anchoas de Escala form the Catalan coast. These last ones really are the king of anchovies. You can get them already cleaned, filleted and packed in olive oil or you can buy them whole and packed in salt. Obviously it is far less fiddly to buy the fillets and I am not sure whether the taste and texture benefits outweigh the ease. UNLESS OF COURSE IT IS SUNDAY MORNING. If that is the case then you need:

1 jar of Anchoas de Escala packed in salt

1 packet of salted crisps (not kettle – too crunchy)

Olive oil


Dark vermouth (In order of preference – “vermut” bought from a one eyed hunchback in Barcelona; Punt e Mes; Martini Rosso)

Soda water



A version of Sunday Morning Coming Down by Kris Kristofferson (KK)

A version of Sunday Morning Coming Down by Johnny Cash (JC)

A version of Sunday Morning Coming Down by Willie Nelson (WN)

Begin recipe on Saturday night by drinking enough to achieve an appalling hangover. On Sunday start by putting on the KK version of Sunday Morning Coming Down then put ice, lemon and a generous double double measure of Vermouth in a tall glass and top up with soda water. Gulp it down and make another.

Next find a sunny corner and begin the anchovies. Sipping all the while, take them out one by one. Squeeze off head and discard (or give to cat?). Now gently squeeze along the body and separate flesh into 2 fillets leaving the spine in tact. (The spine will make a fantastically other tapa to go along side). Do this to all of them. Put on JC version of SMCD. Wash the fillets under cold water to remove salt, scales and any bones that present themselves to you. Dry on paper towel and lay those mothers out. On a plate. Pour over some very good quality olive oil and leave for a bit.

Meanwhile flour and then fry the anchovy spines in olive oil. Remove and drain on paper towel.

Pour yourself another vermouth and go back to your sunny spot with the anchovies, crisps and spines. Delight in God’s bounty whilst Willie Nelson croons.


Rae said...

Love this v much