Monday, 13 June 2011

Further adventures in Sushi

Biqueirao, espinafres enrolado
Portugal, like Japan, has a strong tradition of raw and cured fish.Anchovies, tuna, mackerel. There are underlying similarities in the two cuisines, but to introduce some elements from one cuisine to another to create a new fusion of a national treasure, I find exciting. Take 3 little pearls, bread, marinated anchovy and fresh spinach, and with the addition of some parmesan, garlic, capers  and fresh herbs you find the Japanese geisha sharing knowledge with the Portuguese cortesa. All wrapped up in a meal that makes for a new fusion of fish and vegetarian wonderment.For my third step out of the closet of what I know is safe, I have gone for an attempt to emulate simple rolled sushi or norimaki. I used spinach to replace the traditional seaweed and before long I had rolled a Portuguese cylinder full of marinated anchovy and a seasoned breadcrumb mix, which I cut into sections to create wonderful party food.

Biqueirao, espinafres enrolado
sushi of marinated spinach and anchovies
serves 4
20 large fresh anchovies
salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil
plentiful lemon juice
robust large fresh spinach leaves
100g toasted breadcrumbs
50g parmesan, grated
50g chopped capers
chopped parsley
2 garlic cloves chopped
Wash and gut the fresh anchovies*, remove the heads, tails and back bones. Lay the fillets in a shallow dish, season with salt and pepper. Pour over the lemon juice and completely immerse them in olive oil.Leave to marinate for 24 hours. Blanch the spinach leaves in a shallow dish of salted boiling water. Drain and refresh in another bowl of ice cold water. Drain again and completely dry on paper towel.Mix together in a bowl the toasted breadcrumbs, grated parmesan,chopped capers,parsley and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.Lay the blanched spinach leaves out flat on the worktop, place the marinated anchovy fillets on top skin side down. Sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture. Roll the spinach leaf into a tight cylinder,so you have laers of alternating green white and brown.
Cut the cylinder in 3cm thick slices, Place cut side up and serve.

* Ready prepared marinated white anchovies from a good quality deli can be substituted if you are short on time.

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