Sunday, July 31, 2011

Bean and Fish Sandwich, Basically

White bean bruschetta. Who doesn't love that? Over the years I've learned to make the bean mash lighter (save your bean cooking water for a loosening dollop if you need it), maybe a little oilier with superb oil. This time it was seasoned with minuscule dustings of herbs and chile powder. A squeeze of lemon juice!
How could it be any nicer?
Well, I had an idea. A completely original idea, mine alone. Nobody would have thought of this.
I was going to place a strip of anchovy over the beans. I felt like I was inventing Barcelona!
We had bought some fantastic anchovies a few months ago at Whole Foods. They were sold in a little plastic butcher's tray, like fresh meat. They were vivid, kinda red, and firm. Best thing ever.
Turns out we couldn't finish all the little fishes, so Cranky preserved them in a small jar with a covering of olive oil, in the fridge.
They turned mushy. The magic was gone. The flavor was good, though... Or was it even a little stronger?
Cautiously, I only used a tiny strip, halved lengthwise, on my first bruschetta (untoasted bread). It was good, everything was good, but it was just too strong.
Next, I skipped the seafood entirely and enjoyed a simple bean sandwich, open faced. It was good, too, but I missed that oceanic smack in the mouth.
Third bruschetta, I smeared the beans on, and drizzled drops of anchovy-flavored oil from the jar. That was the winner. Don't throw away your anchovy oil.
Oh, yeah, so I Googled "white bean bruschetta with anchovies," and I got several hits. It is already invented. You can't invent any new food.


Denise | Chez Danisse said...

I've used the oil in salads. I like the idea of trying it w/ white bean bruschetta. Your photo is glowing -- very nice.

Ms Brown Mouse said...

Also, use the oil to start your onions etc for sauces & stews, you'd not realise it was fishy at the end, but there's "something" there!

cookiecrumb said...

Denise: So many smart things to use it in. Can we believe how much food we used to throw out because it was "garbage"?
Thanks on the photo. I confess I used a "glow" filter.

Mouse: Good one! I used to hear about squeezing an inch or two of anchovy paste in stews and sauces for that mysterious essence. This is easier, and less costly, heh heh.

Denise | Chez Danisse said...

Did you see this? I like the tomato stems & leaves idea.

cookiecrumb said...

Denise: Yes, I totally saw that! Lots of good ideas there. I used to call myself a nose to tail eater, even regarding plants... Thanks for the link, and I hope other readers will follow it.

SimplyStated said...

How utterly simple and so damn easy to make. You my good woman, are a diva and scholar.

And to answer your question about tea...the hubby and I have gone so far as to start calling it "glee" so that we avoid the T-word.

"Hun, would you please pour me a glass of that simply divine fresh berry sun-brewed glee you made yesterday?"

"Dear, are we out of Earl Grey Glee?"

"Waiter...can we get another pot of glee to go with the stir-fry delight and pot stickers?

My motto is:

You do whatever it takes to render the item that has become suddenly forbidden and/or unspeakable through no fault of its own,speakable (or usable) again as long as it doesn't involve re-writing history and hiding dead bodies.

Ms Brown Mouse said...

A dab of Vegemite also gives that extra something :)

Greg said...

Your new blogger name is the Tapas Queen! You mentioned WF anchovies in a comment earlier. I looked for them at the Mega WF in Novato with out luck. Are they in the canned fish section?

cookiecrumb said...

Simply: Ha ha! I'm not such a fan of Glee, or else I'd follow your lead. How funny you are.
So, good news, eh? What party am I registered for, now? Capitulation?

Mouse: I don't know if you're pulling my leg. But I'd try it!

Greg: we don't buy anchovies in a can, so the confusion begins. We did get some wonderful sardines at Wf, but it's not their house brand. Is that any help? Didn't think so.

kudzu said...

Can we say "umami" ?

cookiecrumb said...

OMG, Kudzu, that makes me want to put a little tomato on it too! Pa amb tomaquet amb beans amb fish. (I don't know what "amb" means, but I'm pretending it's Catalonian for "and.")

cookiecrumb said...


Hungry Dog said...

I love anchovies. This is a delightful-looking snack, cookiecrumb. Barcelona. Sigh!

namastenancy said...

Try using the oil in pasta as well - just a drop or two tossed into hot pasta give it a nice depth of flavor. I like it with a sauce of garlic, olive oil, a pinch of chili peppers and lemon juice and zest. Then, a drizzle of the sardine or anchovy oil, a sprinkle of Parmesan and chow it all down. Oh, and chopped parsley if you want. Turkish cooking has a grilled sardine dish that's a bit fishy for my taste but some might like it.

cookiecrumb said...

Dog: I would love to love anchovies, but I can take them in small doses. Barcelona, sigh.

Nancy: That sounds exactly like something I woul love. I kept reading your ingredients list, and it got better and better. Merci.

Greg said...

Poodle dogs! I'm so confused...I would have sworn you said you got white anchovies at the at whole paycheck.

cookiecrumb said...

Greg: I would LIKE to get white anchovies. I'll keep shopping and let you know. Boquerones.