Homemade Boquerones – Spanish Marinated Don’t-Think-Anchovies! Part 2
If you haven’t seen Part 1 yet, scoot over there and check that one out first. Find it here.
You lucky ducks that live somewhere that you can buy little fish give this a try and let me know how they come out on this side ‘o the pond. I’m so jealous…
One caveat — before you try these, PLEASE put those preconceived notions out of your pretty little head. These are not meant for pizza, they’re not meant for Caesar salad, and they are not meant to be salty. I don’t want to hear any more discussion about which is better — anchovies or boquerones, on your pizza! That’s like saying, “I tried putting beer in my pasta sauce and it was terrible!” Beer is not wine. Boquerones are not salted anchovies. Got it? Good.
If you can´t find fresh fish to make your own (poor us) you can at least get an idea what boquerones are like, by purchasing them from an online source like La Tienda.* Let’s be honest, they’re nowhere near as good as fresh, but sometimes ya gotta make do.
Boquerones – Spanish Marinated Teensy Fish
1 – 2 lbs very small anchovies or sardines no longer than 4 in. (there is much debate about what fish is actually used. Most Spaniards insist that they’re just boquerones — not anchovies, and not sardines. Toe-may-toe, toe-mah-toe. Who cares, if it tastes great?
High quality white wine vinegar
Juice of 1 – 2 fresh lemons (depending on quantity of fish)
High quality virgin olive oil (Spanish of course)
Garlic — lots, depending on how many boquerones you’re making. Minced.
Fresh flat-leaf parsley. About 1/2 cup, finely chopped. Adjust for the quantity of fish.
Fresh sea salt
Clean the fish — cut off the head and tail, slit open and remove the insides. Rinse in fresh water. Open flat. Some will separate so you’ll have 2 sides, some will not. No biggie.
Layer the fish in a flat-bottomed dish and sprinkle each layer generously with white wine vinegar and lemon juice. It’s OK to put a few layers of fish, as long as the vinegar and lemon marinade is distributed throughout. Be sure the final layer is completely covered, but not floating, in vinegar and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate several hours – preferably overnight.
Combine the minced garlic, chopped parsley, and plenty of good olive oil in a bowl. Add salt to taste (careful not to use too much). Drain the liquid from the fish in a colander. DO NOT rinse — or you’ll be rinsing away the flavor! Layer the fish in a flat-bottomed container and sprinkle a generous amount of the garlic mixture over each layer. Cover well. Layer a few layers deep – but don’t get carried away. About 3 – 4 layers is all you want. After that point, use another container. Be sure the fish is well covered in the marinade, but not swimming in it. Let sit for 3 – 4 hours and enjoy with good crusty bread and a nice wine.
Albariño – a crisp white wine from Northern Spain that is great with lots of fish dishes, and with the lemon marinade of the boquerones, it’s a great combination. Here’s a great article about Albariño if you want to know more. – Salud!
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