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Jul 4, 2009 10:15 AM

Anchovies and alternatives

I have recently discovered I'm quite fond of anchovies, after retrying them. One problem - my partner does not like them. I've been looking for dinner ideas where it would be easy to do 2 versions - one with anchovies, one with something else (like tuna, or maybe pre-cooked chicken).

My list so far:
pizzas (make 2 small ones to keep the flavor from spreading)
"Mediterranean inspired" salad, or any salad really - top one with anchovies, one with tuna/etc
with some pasta recipes you could add anchovies at the end to half of it

Any other thoughts?

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  1. This may be a stupid question, but have you tried, adding them to a sauce and cooking them till they just melt away. Most people never realize they are in there that way. I even in a vinaigrette, pureed with olive oil or other ingredients, same with pizza. Saute with garlic and onions till they just fall apart. They never know. But just chopped is a whole different flavor. They are sweet and nutty once cooked.

    Just a question

    2 Replies
    1. re: kchurchill5

      Yes, I tried that, and he noticed. Darn supertasters. ;-)

      Also, I really like the flavor, so it would be nice to find things where the anchovies are featured prominently, and that'd never work for both of us. I could be happy just smearing them on toast.

      1. re: patricium

        Well you tried, kudos for that. I'm not fond of chopped but I love cooked. I had to ask.

        When my son was young 5 or 6 he hated onions. I used to make the same dish but 2 pans. 1 I added onions, the other, I didn't. I know, but at least other than 1 extra pan, everything was the same. I make the small pizzas per person which I love, great idea. salads I usually add to dressing, so that would be easy to just split in half and add.

        Even some of my sauces for pasta you could just split and cook 2 pots. I know a pain but the anchoives need to be integrated in to blend the flavors.

        Good luck, believe me, I did the onion thing for 6 months and slowly slid them in, 6 months later he never knew.

    2. It's absolutely true that when you cook them till they just melt, the anchovy haters never know. This is good for pasta con i broccoli and similar dishes. Also tomatoes, garlic, hot pepper, and anchovies. They won't know. As for your pizzas, salads, etc., just make one version and add the anchovies on your plate. In my experience, many people don't like anchovies because they've never had good ones. Have you bought they best money can buy, packed in extra-virgin olive oil?

      2 Replies
      1. re: mbfant

        I get DeLallo brand, which is the lower in sodium of the 2 brands available at my usual grocery store. It's packed in olive oil, presumably not EV since the tin doesn't mention it. Next time I go to our more upscale store, I'll check and try others if they have any. Any brand recommendations to look out for?

        1. re: patricium

          Try salt-packed anchovies, rather than the oil-packed fillets. You'll never go back!
          You can soak the anchovies in milk (or water) after you've washed the salt off them. The longer you soak them, the milder they get.
          I've converted many anchovy-haters with these.

          BTW, anchovy sandwiches on rye with onion are wonderful!

      2. Serving a Bruschetta plate with a variety of toppings; some with anchovies, some without.
        A Foccacia bread with the same twist; some with, some without.
        Scrambled eggs - with and without
        Savory crepes
        Stuffed PIta bread sandwiches
        Tuna casserole
        I think the list of possibilities is endless ....