Thursday, August 24, 2006

Baguette With Anchovy-Asiago Butter Spread

This Beach Night offering was gone in a flash. Dripping with butter, the spread was a deliciously salty, tomato-y, cheese-y, zingy compliment to our local Brio sweet baguette. This can be made several hours in advance and refrigerated until ready to heat. Then just toast in a 400-degree oven before taking to the beach.

Ingredients:
1 sweet or sour French baguette, sliced through the middle, lengthwise
1 cube unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, toasted and ground (see note below)
2-ounce tin of anchovy fillets, drained, patted dry and minced
2 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3-4 shakes Smoked Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce
3/4 cup asiago cheese, ground to pea-sized chunks in food processor
2 teaspoons dried marjoram

Preparation:
In a bowl, combine all the above ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Spread half of mixture on each half of the baguette. Taking care to not cut all the way through, cut each baguette crosswise into serving-size slices about 2/3 of the way through. Make a "boat" with foil for each baguette half and toast in a 400-degree oven until browned, hot and bubbly. Save a few pieces for yourself because they'll be gone in the blink of an eye.

Note: To toast fennel seeds, heat a cast iron skillet on medium low heat. Add the fennel seeds to the dry pan and toast the seeds, shaking the pan occasionally, until they are slightly browned and giving off their pungent scent. Watch them as they can burn easily. Immediately remove from the heat and place in a bowl to cool. When cool, grind in a spice grinder to a fine-ish powder, or use a mortar and pestle to achieve the same results.
Low carb note: Bread has once again appeared on my blog! What is the world coming to? Well, not only is this a Beach Night offering where most of it is eaten by others, the combo of the bread with anchovies helps to balance otherwise high carb fare. Making it with a whole wheat baguette, if there is such a beast, would add to the fiber content thus lowering the total carb count. Remember to eat just one. Okay, two.

Good night!