Saturday, November 14, 2009

IGA Item of the Week

This week's item, anchovy paste, sits on one of the least appealing shelves at the IGA, tucked between Armour potted meat and Underwood deviled ham. But before you hurry by, averting your eyes, pick up a tube of Amore anchovy paste to keep in your refrigerator. Use it to make Caesar salad dressing, compound butter for grilled fish or meat, or blanched vegetables, and as the secret ingredient in a pasta sauce with canned tomatoes, capers, and olives.

Mozzarella and Anchovy Panini
Makes 2 sandwiches

You can also make the sandwiches in a skillet--just melt the butter instead of brushing it over the sandwiches, place them in the pan, and place another heavy pot on top of them. Cook, turning once, until they're golden on both sides. You could let these cool for 5 minutes, cut them into 1-inch pieces, and serve them as appetizers with any seafood friendly white wine, like the Sauvignon Blanc from Jamesport Vineyards or Matebella Vinyard's Matebella Famiglia White.

1 small garlic clove
2 teaspoons anchovy paste
Two 6-inch lengths baguette, sliced in half
3 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 tablepoon finely chopped piquillo peppers or roasted red peppers
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Preheat your panini press. Rub the cut side of each piece of bread with the garlic clove and then spread some anchovy paste on each side. Arrange the mozzarella on the bottom halves of the baguette pieces, and scatter the peppers over the mozzarella. Top with the remaining baguette slices. Brush the outsides of each sandwich with some melted butter (this is a little messy, but really adds something so don't skip!) and grill until golden, 5 to 7 minutes.

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