The Ingredient You Don't Know You Love

Bobby Flay called this the "bacon of the sea" in his live class on the Food Network Kitchen app.

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Bobby Flay posing with Spicy Lemon Spaghetti w/ Lobster & Breadcrumbs, as seen on Food Network Kitchen Live.

Bobby Flay posing with Spicy Lemon Spaghetti w/ Lobster & Breadcrumbs, as seen on Food Network Kitchen Live.

Photo by: Rob Pryce

Rob Pryce

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While Bobby was making his Spicy Lemon Spaghetti with Lobster and Toasted Bread Crumbs live on the Food Network Kitchen app, he got real about an ingredient that gets a bad rap: anchovies. Bobby says that when people hear the word, they think they aren’t into them, but the secret is they’ve really been enjoying them all along. “You are into them, you just don’t know it. There are plenty of things you need to have anchovies in,” says Bobby. When people taste something and can’t quite put their finger on that great flavor, it’s often anchovies, explains Bobby.

Most of us don’t want a huge anchovy lying on top of a salad, but we can’t get enough of the salty and savory kick they add to a great Caesar salad. Anchovies add a beguiling undertone of salty umami to a dish like Bobby’s simple pasta without showing up on the plate. He chops anchovies and allows them to melt into the buttery, lemon-garlic sauce. “Anchovies are like the bacon of the sea,” explains Bobby. They have a unique ability to bring out the flavor of other seafood, “because it has that umami seafood flavor,” says Bobby. “It makes the lobster taste more like lobster.”

So, what’s the solution when cooking anchovies for others? We’re not telling you to lie to your diners, but if they aren’t allergic, what they don’t know won’t hurt them. “People think they don’t like anchovies and if you don’t tell them, it doesn’t matter,” says Bobby. And, in case you’re wondering, Bobby's cats, Nacho and Stella, give this ingredient their meow of approval.

Follow the live class schedule on the Food Network Kitchen app and can cook along with Bobby Flay and ask him your burning cooking questions (or anything about his famous Maine Coon cats!).


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