After La Cale style Mussels in Cider from A Boat, a Whale & a Walrus, Menus and Stories (Sasquatch Books, September 2014) by Renee Erickson, here's what could become your top hit for 2014 holiday parties.
Butter, fresh horseradish, ikura
Prep Time: 15 Minutes // Total Time: 15 Minutes, plus time to make toasts // Makes 24
While most American or Italian flat-packed anchovies are simply cooked and packed in oil, boquerones, Spanish white anchovies, are usually vinegar-pickled before their olive oil bath. They have a mild, tangy flavor and a fluffier texture than regular anchovies. Laid out on a bed of butter and topped with freshly grated horseradish and a pile of ikura, or salmon roe, they make an excel- lent appetizer that requires very little actual preparation. These are the creation of Eli Dahlin, the original chef at The Walrus and the Carpenter, and appear often on the menu there.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
2 dozen Baguette Toasts (see below)
24 deboned, filleted oil-packed boquerones (from a 7-ounce package), drained
1/3 cup freshly grated horseradish, from a 4-inch piece
3 tablespoons ikura (salmon roe)
Just before serving, use a cheese grater or vegetable peeler (or a sharp knife) to shave the butter into 1⁄8-inch-thick slices. Cover each piece of toast with butter shavings (they will look like cheese slices), then top each with 1 fish (2 joined fillets), a big pinch (about ½ teaspoon) of the horseradish, and a tiny pile (a heaping ¼ teaspoon) of ikura. Serve immediately.
Prep Time: 10 Minutes // Total Time: 30 Minutes // Makes about 3 dozen
Sliced and drizzled with olive oil, then baked, simple baguette toasts are a staple in my kitchens.
1 baguette (about 3⁄4 pound)
1⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon or Jacobsen. for finishing
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Using a large serrated knife, cut the bread diagonally into ½-inch slices. Arrange the slices on 2 large baking sheets, brush with the olive oil, sprinkle with salt to taste, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the toasts are blonde and crisp, rotating the pans once or twice during baking. (Toward the end of baking, if the toasts aren’t cooking at the same rate, remove the browned ones so you can let the others continue baking.)
Serve immediately, or let cool on a cooling rack and serve within a few hours.
(* Recipe reproduced with permission from A Boat, a Whale & a Walrus, Menus and Stories -Sasquatch Books, September 2014- by Renee Erickson with Jess Thompson- Photographs by Jim Henkens)