Most people would scoff at adding anchovies to their food, but if you’ve eaten classic Caesar salad you’ve experienced the pleasure of well-integrated anchovy flavor. Here are some other ways to sneak this aromatic fish into your dishes.
1. To add a savory flavor to tomato sauce, add 1/4 teaspoon anchovy paste or mashed anchovies per cup of sauce. Don’t stop at tomato sauces. Anchovies are the secret behind the savoriness of many sauces such as those in braised meats and vegetables.
2. For a one-of-a-kind twist on roasted chicken, slip a few anchovies under the skin before roasting. Or spread anchovy paste under the skin. The briny taste of the anchovies seasons the meat as it cooks, lending an incredible flavor boost.
3. To kick up the taste of tuna salad, stir in 1 to 2 teaspoons anchovy paste. A squeeze of lemon juice also blends well with anchovy paste and balances the saltiness with acidity.
4. For more complex tasting vinaigrettes, whisk 1/2 teaspoon mashed anchovy into the dressing. Taste the dressing before adding salt, as anchovies pack their own punch of sodium. You can even add anchovy to store-bought bottled dressing. Just pour the needed amount into a small bowl and whisk in the mashed anchovy.
5. For an Italian-style chicken salad sandwich, combine the following ingredients: 1 cup finely chopped cooked chicken breast, 4 finely chopped hard-cooked eggs, 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 1 can (2 ounces) drained and chopped anchovy fillets, 1 small grated onion, 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and a pinch of salt. Spread butter over your favorite sandwich bread and top with the chicken filling.
6. To give plain old couscous a more aromatic flavor, prepare a box (10 ounces) instant couscous according to the package directions. Drain 1 jar (6 ounces) roasted red peppers and cut into strips. Add to the couscous along with 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, 8 chopped anchovy fillets, the juice of 1/2 lemon, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1 minced garlic clove, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
7. To make a Mediterranean-style sauce for pan-fried fish, remove the fish fillets after frying and transfer to a platter to keep warm. Add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet, and cook until the butter melts. Stir in 1 1/2 tablespoons tiny, well-drained capers, 3 chopped anchovy fillets, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, and 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice. Cook for 1 minute over medium heat, then pour over pan-fried fish fillets. The anchovy, while not a dominant taste, adds an irreplaceable depth of flavor to the sauce.