Anchovies, lemon, garlic, oil and parsley. The eternal set of magic ingredients which incredibly always comes with new surprising combinations. This is the easiest way to cook in a truly malagan style. If you can find fresh anchovies in your local market, there is nothing which can stop you from recreating the authentic malagan taste.
Traditionally the recipe has been always prepared in an earthenware pot which keeps the heat so well. The earthenware dishes contributed to the Spanish cuisine with various delicious recipes, the roasted meat from Castilla, marmitako from Basque country, cocidos from Madrid, salt cod al pil pil or the famous garlic prawns and more. While some of the cited recipes are very difficult to replicate in a normal pot, this recipe can be easily prepared with a similar result in a modern frying pan so don’t worry if you are no earthenware king.
This recipe can’t go wrong and it always tastes good. The only thing about it is that sometimes the sauce gets more oily than emulsive. It gets never so thick as the pil pil for example but sometimes it reaches the nice creamy texture and sometimes not. I have yet to find what lies behind it.
Remove the head and spine from the anchovies. Open them.
Chop the garlic and parsley finely. Extract the juice from the lemons without pits and pour in a bowl.
Tak an earthenware pot of approx. 20 cm diameter (or a frying pan with a heavy bottom) and place the opened anchovies with skin down with the tale always pointing to the centre. Sprinkle the chopped garlic all over the pan.
Heat the pot over medium heat and once the anchovies start to get white, add all the lemon juice and chopped parsley. Decrease the heat to low and start to shake with the pot so that the juices with the oil to create an almost creamy sauce. This should take 1-3 minutes. Serve in the pot.
The earthenware pots should be treated in a special way to prolong its longevity. Before the first use it is advisable to:
Submerge the pot in water for 8 hours.
After that dry it thoroughly and rub the garlic from outside all over the not enamelled surface. The garlic should seal the pores.
Dry it really well, otherwise smoke might come out of the pot when later heated.