Sardine skin with salted anchovy

Sardine skin with salted anchovy
Casa Marcial
Chef: Nacho Manzano
Country: España
City: 33549 Arriondas (Asturias)
Address: La Salgar, 10; 4 km. from the city center
(+34) 985840991

Nacho Manzano is one of the Spanish chefs with the greatest capacity for dictating a personal message, which, in general, has a thick Asturian accent. Who can blame him? He knows the goodness of the ingredients, the finest delicacies and products available from his region, and he stages them in current, relevant ways. Another virtue of the house is the mental clarity one senses here. He constructs with fluency, possessing an innate gift of good taste to convey refined, balanced flavors. All these qualities are given space in the following poem–an homage to the Bay of Biscay.
Surely there will be those who think it overly simple. Others, like ourselves, think that nothing is more difficult than to mark a difference with only two elements. If this feat is already highly complicated, the merit is further enriched by the fact that these two ingredients form such a fundamental part of Spanish gastronomic patrimony. Combining two fish and two traditions, superimposing them and achieving something so magnanimous is truly exceptional. In essence this is a salted anchovy covered with the skin of a sardine with a millimeter of its meat encrusted on top. The first brings the flavor, the second, fat and a gelatinous quality. Hot and cold. They complement each other in an idyllic way. Unsurpassable compatibility. The dish manages to honor both of the identities of the products individually. This is brilliant minimalism.

The Recipe

4 San Filippo salted anchovy filets
4 Sardines, preferably those that are fished from mid-July to mid-September.
Fuen Roble Picaul Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Preparation for the anchovies:
2 anchovies for a total of 4 filets. Clean the anchovies of the salt under a stream of cold water and dry well with a towel. Remove the central spine and all other bones from the head to the tail with tweezers.

Preparation for the sardines:
Separate the sardines into 4 filets, remove the meat leaving 1 millimeter attached to the skin.
Place the skins onto a tray covered with a baking sheet, top with another sheet and cook in the steam over for 4 minutes at 70ºC.

Finishing: 1 anchovy filet topped with the sardine skin and a few drops of olive oil.