A MAN, A PLAN, A CAN OF ANCHOVIES
I fucking love anchovies. Don’t even care. I fucking love anchovies to an extent that I rub them on my wife before we get physically intimate. They’re mad cheap, and are next to the tuna in the grocery store. They’re awesomely salty and usually packed in oil. If you can get some of the fancy Portuguese bad dads, DO IT BECAUSE THEY BE RIGHTEOUS. Seriously, next time you go to the store, be a man and get yourself a couple cans of anchovies. I don’t care if you’re scared of em or don’t like the idea or the reputation or whatever. Just look at a picture of an anchovy.
Hot. Were it not for smoked salmon, these would probably be the bacon of the sea. As it is, anchovies are like…nah fuck that I’m not even gonna qualify that shit. They’re anchovies.
So, now that you became a man and bought a couple cans of anchovies, you’re probably wondering what to do with them. MANY OPTIONS. For me, I make sandwiches out of em. I drain the can, and still oily and all, I split open some baguette, smear that sucker with camembert or brie, lay a few anchovies across that like a beautiful Mediterranean senorita soaking sun into her smooth olive body, and then gently lay greens across the top of THAT. Leave it up to your judgment. Maybe some baby spinach? A bit of frisee? There are few mistakes you can make here. Just follow the formula of good bread, a creamy, not bleu cheese, and some crisp, well-washed and dry greens. If that sounds a bit dry, it probably is, so add a thinly sliced ripe tomato. You don’t want a blue cheese because anchovies are a really sharp flavor, so it’s gonna need a mellow creamy base of operations. Don’t dress this sandwich heavily. A bit of olive oil, and some red chili flake should do fine.
Think of this like making love to a woman for the first time. This is how I approach all sandwiches.
The sexual elements of food are obvious and well documented, and in the case of the anchovy, tend a bit to the exotic, while still resonating in a familiar place in the diner’s mind; Anchovies are the girl next door to the girl next door. Maybe she’s a different religion, or a different race, and while perhaps unusual or daunting to approach, she manages to occupy one’s lust in a very specific and homey way.
Most of us are familiar with the common Caesar salad, and may even be aware of the presence of anchovies in that classic. Try making it on your own! It’s far more interesting and delicious than the bottled sugary sauces.
You should really have a blender or a food processor for this. If not, you can still do it in a big bowl with a whisk, but it won’t be quite as good. Just combine a few anchovy fillets to taste- I use seven or eight. A couple egg yolks, some garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper, parmesan cheese…literally just drop them in a blender and turn it on. Then gradually add olive oil until it thickens up. This is sort of like making a mayonnaise and sort of like making a vinaigrette, so don’t trip on the technical shit or measurements. It’s salad dressing, man. If it’s too strong, thin it out, if it’s too pussy, quit being a punk and throw in some ‘chovies.
Wanna be the big man on campus? Use that dressing on a side salad with your Anchovy/Brie/Tomato/Spinach sandwich. Whole romaine leaves, dressed generously. Maybe a sliced hardboiled egg on the side.
I’d suggest a Hefeweizen. A good German one, because American Hefes have a whole other thing going on and I think they lose the banana/clove/bubblegum weirdness of the original grains and yeasts and brewing method. This gives you a nice smooth drink to mellow out the acidity and briny qualities of the anchovies and the dressing. If you went a little heavy on the cheese in the sandwich and the dressing, I’d go with a barleywine. Preferably an English one, but American barleywines with heavy duty alcohol and spicy hops and sweet malts would do great to cut that creamy salty cheese. Personally I’d avoid IPAs unless you put a lot of herbs in the salad or used an herbed cheese or watercress as your greens on the sandwich
Photo Credit to MarlonoIram