Thursday, December 28, 2006

Anchovy Pilaf

It's not difficult to cook, reasonably cheap and very tasty.
8 Servings


2 kg. fresh anchovies
3 cups long grain rice
4 cups lukewarm water
1 dessert spoon salt
3 cups boiling water or chicken stock
1,5 cups hot water
2 medium onions (finely chopped)
½ cup currants(washed)
½ cup slivered blanched almonds or shelled pistachio nuts or pine nuts
½ bunch fresh parsley (minced)
1 lemon (peeled, sliced)
2 dessert spoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 dessert spoon dried mint
1 dessert spoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 dessert spoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup olive oil


1. Wash the anchovies thoroughly, cut off the heads and remove the bones. Dry anchovies on a paper towel. Scatter salt over anchovies.

2. Wash the rice twice and soak the rice in salted (1 dessert spoon) lukewarm water for about 30 minutes. Then put them into a rice strainer and drain the water. Be sure to drain it thoroughly.
If you don’t have time wash the rice three or four times, until water runs quite clear.

3. Heat a medium size nonstick saucepan over medium-low heat. Heat the oil in the saucepan, add the slivered almonds and saute until almonds are lightly browned.

4. Add finely chopped onions and saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes until the onions are translucent.

5. Add the drained rice and stir for 5 minutes until well coated with the oil. Add currants. Season with two dessert spoons salt, 1 tea spoon sugar, ground black pepper, dried mint, ground allspice and ground cinnamon.

6. Then add 3 cups of boiling water or chicken stock into the saucepan.

7. Bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the liquid is absorbed.

8. Remove from heat, add minced parsley and stir gently with a wooden spoon and then place a paper towel between pan and lid to absorb moisture. Let it stand for 10 minutes.

9. Place half of the anchovy fillets skin side down in a baking tray. Pour the pilaf over the anchovy fillets. Place the rest of anchovy fillets the skin side up over the rice. Cover pilaf completely with anchovies. Place lemon slices on top. Pour 1,5 cups of hot (not boiling) water over the anchovies.

10. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

11. Bake the anchovy pilaf in a preheated oven until the liquid is absorbed and the anchovies are just cooked.

Serve with Turkish Shepherd's Salad and arugula leaves.

Have a good appetite!

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