Suzi's Blog

Anchovy Twists

Having a party? Need a quick appetizer to tantalize your guests? These anchovy twists are flavor grenades. Serving these lovely twists will give you a running start for a flavor profile that will have everyone bubbling and provide you with a theme for the entire evening.

Anchovy offers an intense flavor that is readily matched with strong cocktails [think margaritas!]. And this spikey flavor naturally leads to a dinner table adorned with Caesar Salad [more anchovy!] and crusted protein [grilled steak or lamb chops].

While you’ve probably had cheese twists lately, these anchovy gems are quite different: soft and tender, not hard and crispy. That feel-and-taste distinction will have your guests guessing what other twists you have planned for them. [Clearly, some twisted cookie recipe is needed here. I’m off and researching!]

Anchovy Twists

Yield: 20-25 twists

Ingredients:

  • 1 Quantity Pastry with Quark [recipe follows]
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten, for glazing
  • 2 ounces anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained and finely chopped
    • Grated sharp cheese [optional]

Preparation:

Make the Pastry with Quark according to the recipe below but divide it into two portions before wrapping in plastic wrap.

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Take the pastry out of the refrigerator and remove the plastic wrap. Roll one portion out on a lightly floured surface, with a rolling pin, into a rectangle about 16×12 inches. Repeat with the other portion.

Brush some of the beaten egg over each portion of pastry. Divide the chopped anchovies in two and spread them evenly over half of each pastry rectangle.

Optionally, at this point you can enrich the twists by sprinkling with some grated sharp cheese.

Fold the bare pastry half over the anchovy [and cheese] filling and press gently together. Repeat with the other pastry rectangle. Brush the remaining beaten egg over the top. Cut into strips about ½ inch wide and twist each strip into a spiral. Arrange on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven for 7-9 minutes, or until golden brown.

Serve warm or cold.

Pastry with Quark

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter,
  • softened at room temperature
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) quark or pot cheese
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt

Preparation:

Put the butter and quark in a mixing bowl and beat together with a wooden spoon until well mixed.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Tip into the mixing bowl and mix until a dough forms.

Roll into a ball, then flatten into a disk before wrapping in plastic wrap.

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before continuing with the recipe you are following.

Source: Nordic Bakery Cookbook by Miisa Mink

Really Simple Anchovy, Caper and Tomato Salad

“Don’t add salt.” Suzen was issuing a command, not a suggestion.

I had just described the dinner I was planning. I’m upstate and she’s in the city. Her antennae are always up when I’m on my own, the kitchen is mine, and she’s wondering what the devil I’m going to create.

“No salt,” I replied calmly. “Just pepper.” Actually, I was already in the pepper-only mode. Even I have my salt limits.

This salad is the Really Simple class. You can make this in less than a minute. Uh, but you shouldn’t. There’s some slicing involved and I want all your fingertips in place at the end.

Here’s the idea: top fresh tomato with anchovies and capers then add some balsamic vinegar. It’s simple, quick, and thoroughly satisfying. The intensity of the anchovies, the capers, and the vinegar will generate a sizzle in your mouth.

Anchovy, Caper and Tomato Salad

Yield: 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium tomato, still firm and meaty
  • 10 white anchovy fillets
  • 1 tablespoon of capers
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Pepper
  • Chives, optional

Preparation:

Wash and dry the tomato. Slice it into 6-8 pieces. Arrange the pieces on a plate. Place the anchovy fillets on top of the tomato slices, then top with the capers. Pour the vinegar over the tomatoes. Flavor with fresh pepper.

If you desire, decorate with some diced chives.

Source: Brian O’Rourke