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Posts Tagged ‘anchovy paste’

The Refrigerator Personality Test

In Food on April 8, 2010 at 10:18 am

“Show me what you store, and I’ll tell you what you are,” wrote Los Angeles Times Food Editor Russ Parsons in a column last year entitled “The Refrigerator Personality Test.” I’ve known Russ for over a decade, and worked with him for at least half that long, but after reading that column learned a little more about this superb human being. Like that Russ is sentimental and hangs onto hot sauce for 20 years. That he is perhaps also fickle in love, which explains the fleeting flirtation with a tube of cast-aside yuzu-koshu pepper paste. I’ve never forgotten the story, and was reminded of it again this morning when I was looking for something as simple as a jar of Dijon mustard (we’re out) and instead found a random of assortment of condiments that included four spicy mustards of varying heat, jars of capers, lemon curd, fig paste, pomegranate syrup, two jars of Nuttzo (god forbid we run out, but seriously, it’s great in a smoothie), almond butter, pistachio and walnut oils, Sriracha, tubes of anchovy and tomato paste and several bottles of apéritifs and rosé in the refrigerator door alone. They are joined by less esoteric tubs of mayonnaise, ketchup, maple syrup, soy sauce, Diet Dr. Pepper and butter.

My refrigerator shelves reinforce that I am far less imaginative than Russ, whose fridge boasts caramelized onions, olives he’s cured, undeveloped rolls of film, Spanish pickled anchovies and Cougar Gold canned cheese. In my own icebox, I find enough dairy to start, well, a dairy: milk, buttermilk, cream, eggs, plain yogurt (sheep and cow), mascarpone, and more cheese than I could ever eat (which is a lie; I will eat it all: parm, goat, feta, blue, pecorino, Swiss, Vermont cheddar, fresh ricotta, cream cheese, shredded pepper Jack; string cheese for Tiny G). There’s more rosé, Madeira, several bottles of Japanese and Belgian beer, a bottle of Henriot, half finished jar of chocolate sauce, a jar of my aunt Margaret’s homemade peach preserves, two kinds of hummus, puréed squash and ground chicken for Tiny G’s lunch, his sippy cup of milk unfinished from this morning, bacon, a ribeye (for Mr Foodinista’s dinner while I’m at book club tonight), radishes, green onions, cured green olives, a bag of flax seeds, half a red pepper, broccoli, asparagus, basil (most other herbs come from the garden but we need to replant basil, which got attacked), cold cuts of roast beef, a couple bottles of mineral water, huge jar of Bubbies bread and butter chips, blood orange juice, tortillas, strawberries, cantaloupe and a bowl leftover cherry tomato and bocconcini with basil salad from last night’s dinner.

Now that I write that all out, it sounds like a LOT. I guess it is a lot. But in reality the depth of our fridge is pretty shallow, which I love. Items are less likely to get lost and go to waste. (Our freezer drawers are another story for another post.) And after cataloging the contents above, I think I’m going to try to cook my way through our condiments. And cheese, of course. Any ideas? And while we’re at it, what’s in your fridge????

The Rabe Report

In Food, Recipes on January 30, 2009 at 9:02 pm

broccoli rabe

Broccoli rabe might be my favorite vegetable—it’s a toss up with Brussels sprouts. Broccoli rabe has a nutty, slightly bitter flavor. We love it tossed w/ olive oil, anchovy, red pepper flakes and parm, served alongside grilled ribeyes, and it couldn’t be easier to prepare. First, cut off the stalks from 1 bunch of broccoli rabe (about 1 lb.) so that you are left with the leafy greens and florets. Place in steamer.


Cover and steam for about 5 minutes. While broccoli rabe is steaming, whisk together  4 tablespoons of olive oil with 3 teaspoons of anchovy paste. If you prefer, you could finely chop anchovies instead of using anchovy paste. Set aside. When broccoli rabe is tender (but still slightly al dente), transfer to a bowl, and sprinkle with a pinch of red pepper flakes.

pepper flakes

Sprinkle grated parm (to taste) over broccoli rabe. Toss with olive oil and anchovy paste mixture. Serve.

Anchovy Paste, I love you

In Food on January 10, 2009 at 9:16 am

anchovy paste

One of these days we’ll play the game: what’s in your refrigerator? A sneak preview of mine starts with anchovy paste—always. I like Crown Prince. Last night, it snuck its way into two dishes—mixed with softened butter and melted over New York strip steaks, and whisked with a little olive oil and drizzled over steamed Broccolini with red chile flakes and some grated parm. It’s also great added to yolks in deviled eggs, vinaigrette, Green Goddess dressing, mixed with butter and melted over artichokes or other veggies, or just spread on toast. Because it’s so deliciously salty, dial down the sea salt, or whatever other salt you’re using in the dish.