Travel, written by the 16th century essayist Francis Bacon, is a form of education. “Those who travel across a country, before entering the language,” he wrote, “go to school.”
If you eat around Spain and Portugal on a trip to Europe, you and your kitchen will learn a lot more about eating tinned fish than its place in a tuna salad sandwich. ,custodian“As both Spanish and Portuguese call them, they appear on so many tables and in so many ways – as lunchtime centerpieces, on nibble platters in the evening, even in the preparation of eggs at breakfast .
So, in a way, visit the Iberian Peninsula this summer, even if you don’t soak up our own shores, by enjoying the variety of tinned fish available across the state.
- Drizzle a tin of tuna preserved in olive oil and use its pieces to top envelope-shaped corn tortillas, dabbed with grainy mustard soup and a tart cornichon.
- Toss a tin of smoked trout or breaded cockles or clams into the cheese and layer the inner layer of the sandwich using slices of lightly toasted hearty, spring-crumbed rye or leaven bread.
- Spanish and Portuguese tinned mussels are usually preserved in a tangy, vinegary sauce called escabeche, Remove a tin (but not completely) and toss the mussels, as do Iberians, with pasta, minced garlic, lemon zest, and finely chopped mint or basil.
- The Spanish make of tinned anchovies preserved in olive oil A kind of open-faced sandwich: thin-sliced dark bread topped with an anchovy and a dab of marmalade (made from a Seville orange, of course), sweet- Tart jam offsets the tart, salty fish.
- If your summer grill is on, place some tinned squid on the grate, lightly fry it on all sides, then serve it with pre-made rice salads or even a risotto based on fish stock and short-grain rice. Add to. Paella Rice Bomba), which has ample gratings of a sharp Spanish cheese such as Manchego Querado.
- Brunch: Vegetables in escabeche (cabbage ribbons, carrot fingers, cubed potatoes, sweet red or yellow pepper strips, onion slices, mushroom caps), full-flavored tinned fish (mackerel, for example), lightly toasted and buttered Semolina Bread.
- Make potato salad using waxy spuds like Yukon Gold (lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, crushed herbs de Provence, fresh garlic cloves), then add a dry tin of preserved octopus pieces (if large) cut off). Toss and let sit for half an hour for the flavors to marry. Serve cold or at room temperature.
- Use Tinned Tuna (Always Use Such Preserved in Olive Oil, Never Water) on Nicoise Salad: Use canned salmon or tinned smoked trout. Or shell out for the best possible tinned tuna from Iberia labeled “Bonito del Norte.”
- In the bowl of a food processor, make a very smooth-textured “hummus” of a 6-ounce block of feta cheese and 1 tablespoon fruity extra virgin olive oil. Top one with any tin of fish of your choice (dried if needed), pimiento pepper (or other pickled or preserved sweet pepper), chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves and a sprinkle of Urfa or Aleppo dried black pepper. Scrape over plate and top. Flakes. On the side: Best crackers or flatbreads.
One great side benefit to using tinned fish is that it typically uses less fishy versus more fishy seafood. It is unfortunate that tuna, the most common overfished fish, is also the most commonly tinned fish available. If you buy tinned tuna, try to get it from pole-and-line rather than long-lined tuna fishers. Check the tin’s label for the words “POLE AND (OR AND) LINE”.
In addition, because tinned fish is available year-round outside of the hemisphere’s seasonal fishing times, buying and eating tinned fish rather than freshly caught fish allows fish stocks to be recovered in their native oceans or seas.
I’ve made this tinned tuna sauce for many spring and summer servings any number of ways, prepared sliced or pre-cooked cold meats: cold cuts, roasted pork loin, chicken tenders or piccata pilards. , white meat schnitzel, and even more fish such as cold grilled swordfish or salmon filet.
This is the sauce for the famous Italian dish called chilled veal. vitello tonnato, But few of us cook veal now. A legacy of baby beef substitutes await.
Tinned Tuna Sauce
Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
1 5- to 7-ounce tin pole-and-line caught tuna in olive oil, drained
5 anchovy fillets in olive oil
1 Tbsp capers, packed in preferred salt, washed and squeezed
2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 cup mayonnaise, homemade if possible
freshly ground white pepper to taste (optional)
Place all ingredients except mayonnaise in the bowl of a food processor and process, scraping down sides of bowl once or twice, until very smooth, about 2 minutes.
Scrape the contents of the processing bowl into a large bowl and gently but thoroughly fold in the mayonnaise and optional black pepper. Check salt spice level. (Additional salt may be unnecessary because tinned fish and capers, the latter though washed, may add substantial salt.)
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