Pickled Anchovy (Gavros In Greek)

I went to the Central Fish Market of Athens the other day and had the pleasure of seeing a fantastic array of different kinds of fish, shell fish, big small shrimp, crabs,  huge calamari, small cuttlefish even sword fish. Fresh tuna starts next month. The moon is in the perfect position for good fishing. Anything your heart desires, if you have the money of course and space in your deep freeze.

Having in mind to make pickled anchovies or what called in Greek, Gavros, bought 1 kg only because I knew the work that was awaiting me. I also found and bought a beautiful filet of salmon.  Sometimes I go there and come back empty handed because there would be nothing I liked. So I immediately put myself to work on my anchovies.  I always try to clean my fish as soon as I buy it. Once cleaned, either deep freeze or consume.
Spilled the whole pack into a large colander in the kitchen sink and gave them a good wash. Opened a plastic bag in the sink near the colander to throw away the debris sat down and began the long and treacherous job of "cleaning" the anchovies one by one.

I hope the pictures are self explanatory. Snapped the head from the backbone, and pulled.  All the insides came out with it. Opened all the stomach with my thumb, exposed the backbone which I pulled out like in the picture and automatically got the filet. I made sure I included the tail when cutting off the backbone. 

Once the filets were ready, I arranged them in-side up on a big platter and covered with a good vinegar.  I used cider vinegar.

After one two hours maximum they will become white. At this point and not later, I spilled out the vinegar.
I have in the meantime prepared a nice big jar (a big empty mayonnaise jar) with a lid, about 10 cloves of
garlic passed through the press, a Tbsp. of cayenne pepper, a Tbsp. of dry thyme, a Tbsp. of salt, and good extra virgin olive oil.
I put ¼ of the fileted quantity in the jar, added garlic, some thyme, some salt, some cayenne pepper and added oil to cover.
Continued repeating the above step till all the fish, all the salt, all the cayenne pepper, and all the thyme was finished.
Topped the jar with oil. Put the lid on, closed tightly and refrigerated.
Basically it is now ready to be consumed.
Serving suggestions:
-  Plain with warm fresh bagette.
-  With bagette spread with salted butter.
-  With white spaghetti:  Put a few filets, some of the oil and mix. Preferably without grated parmezan.
-  As a tappa on top of a fried slice of eggplant or use your imagination.


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