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Capitone: Eel

And a Recipe For Marinated Eel

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Capitone: Eel

Capitone: Eel

© Kyle Phillips Licensed to About.Com
Anguilla and Capitone are both eel.
  • Anguille are the males, which are smaller, up to about 18 inches (50 cm) long and a half pound (200 g) in weight.
  • Capitoni are the females, which are much larger, up to 40 inches (a meter) or more, and weighing up to 2 1/4 pounds (1 k) or more.
Though eels can survive for quite a time out of water, their flesh quickly spoils once they have died, so it is important that they be cleaned quickly and cooked within a day or two of being caught. Have your fishmonger remove the heads and tail tips, fillet, and, if need be, skin them for you.

Eel is quite fatty as fish go, but if cooked in a way that drains the fat from the fish quite delicately flavored. Wild eel are caught from late summer though autumn, whereas eel farmers time their catch to coincide with Christmas, for the Vigil dinner.

Got Eel? How About Anguilla Marinata, Marinated Eel?

There are many recipes for marinated eel. This is from Comacchio, one of the most important eel-producing regions of the Adriatic, and is a simple home recipe. You'll need:

2 medium-sized eels, weighing about a pound (500 g) each
A bay leaf
A quart (1 l) vinegar
70 g (2 1/3 ounces) non-iodized salt, and since salt density varies from brand to brand, you should use a scale

Carefully clean the eels, removing the heads and internal organs. Bone them, and wash the boned halves well before cutting them into 3-inch (about 7 cm) lengths.

Put the vinegar, salt and a glass of water in a steel pot with the bay leaf and bring the mixture to a boil.

While the marinade is heating, put the sliced eel in a canning jar large enough to contain both the fish and the marinade.

Pour the hot marinade over the fish, seal, and let the fish rest in a cool dark place for at least 2 weeks before enjoying it. It will be a nice as part of a fish-based antipasto platter.

A variation:
Prepare the fish as above, but dredge the pieces in flour and fry them in oil until golden. Drain it well on absorbent paper, and then put it in the jar. Prepare the marinade with vinegar, 10 sage leaves, the salt, a small garlic clove, sliced, a few peppercorns, and, if you want, several strips of orange zest, removed form an orange with a potato peeler.

Other Eel Recipes On Site:
Fried Eel, and Instructions for Frying Fish
Roast Eel, Capitone Arrosto
Tomatoey Stewed Eel, Anguilla al Pomodoro

Eel Elsewhere On About:
Japanese Unagi (eel) Stir-fry
Unagi (eel) Salad Recipe
Simmered Unagi and Onion with Eggs
Kabayaki Sauce For Eel

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