Roe and Eggs Surprise

Anchovies

Anchovies

One reason that cooking is fun is that you can do anything you want.  To really have fun be bold and don’t overlook cookbooks.  You can learn a lot more from a cookbook than a recipe posted on an internet cooking site.  When I say be bold it will help you to do that the more you know.  You just might not know the secrets that lie within that allow a dish to be spectacular.  For instance roe, that is, fish eggs residing in the fishes ovarian sack.  If you Google it you’ll get a lot of shad roe recipes, which is fine of course, as shad roe with bacon and toast points is a well-known American dish.  But all fish have roe if they’re female and there’s a lot of roe…okay, let’s call it caviar…being tossed away for garbage.

The other day I bought some fresh anchovies that were caught off San Pedro, California, but I had to buy them in an Italian market because Californians don’t eat anchovies as they use them for bait.  I was preparing a recipe test (acciughe a la spezzina) of baked anchovies with thinly sliced potatoes and as I was gutting the tiny anchovies I realized they were all female and all had teeny roe sacks.  I set them side.

Anchovy roe with scrambled egg

Anchovy roe with scrambled egg

The roe from a pound of anchovies amounts to about an ounce or less so I realized that this was an appetizer I was about to make. In a small nonstick saute pan I heated about a teaspoon of olive oil and sauteed a pinch of fresh garlic and parsley, a teaspoon of onion, the roe, and 1 large egg for about a minute and that was that.  It was just as perfect as could be.

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