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Thursday, August 30, 2012

(Nearly) Perfecting Todd English Food Hall's Boquerones



AS you may already know, I was finally able to find some anchovies (at Westside Market) that I'd found to be more than just satisfactory. Earlier this week, I--again--attempted to recreate (my favorite) Todd English Food Hall boquerones.

first: some quickly toasted garlic in the toaster oven

I began by slicing the thinnest slices possible of fresh garlic which I tossed in a bit of evoo before closely watching them in the toaster oven at 300-325°. They toast in a mere matter of minutes. While the garlic was toasting, I quickly snipped off the freshest-looking leaves from a bunch of curly parsley I'd had standing in some water. From there, all that was left to do was to toast a few slices of bread (drizzled with evoo) and arrange the dish.

dining out, at home

I arranged my "Food Hall boquerones" by memory, and think I did a pretty decent job of affecting the original. Seated before the dish, I topped my first crostino with two fingers crossed...

this time I topped the crostini with Agostino Recca anchovy filets

Success! It was so close... had it been paired with a glass of Valdo, I could easily have mistaken myself for being back at the Food Hall. Not having to distract my attention away this time, I was able to focus on each ingredient of the crostini. What I'd noticed (besides the fact that Italian parsley would have been a better choice than curly parsley) was that the ingredient that really makes this dish is the toasted garlic, and not the anchovies themselves. (or perhaps it's the combination that's so winning) Overall, I was glad to be able to enjoy my homemade "boquerones" without having to rush through them this time. And again, it was another self-proving lesson in always using the finest ingredients possible...

*After doing a bit of research on anchovies and boquerones, I'd learned that boquerones are cured in vinegar which causes a chemical reaction that turns the anchovy filets white. Anchovies cured in salt or oil do not undergo this and therefore are decidedly darker than the boquerones variety.
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