August 31, 2013

Ani Meezer's Anchovy Dressing

by Ani Meezer, Kitteh Queen of the kitchen

Anchovy? Oh my cat!

Do not furget to call me if you have anchovies!

Seems it is time to tell you how to make a lovely AV Dressing: Mediterranean-inspired Anchovy Vinaigrette Dressing for salads. Mymewself will narrate for Mum.

Aye do see Mum has placed dressing ingredients on kitchen counter.

1/4 cup EVOO
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 clove fresh garlic, minced
1 anchovy, chopped finely
S+P to taste (Careful with salt! Anchovy is already salty.)

Mum is using "what's on hand" and making only small batch of dressing to test how well ingredients go together. If Mum does not like the brands of extra-virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar, she will seek other choices.

A few paw-notes about olive oil, vinegar, anchovies, and garlic.

In California, cooks are accustomed to finding fresh extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). You might prefurr a mild oil, like good old Bertolli. But whatever oil you like, you want good quality and freshness. . . . You know stale or rancid oils and fats are bad for human and pet health. (Kibble eaters, take paw-note.)

It should be easy for humans to find fresh organic wine vinegar in gourmet stores. It is not difficult for wine grapes and other fruits to turn to vinegar -- that is Nature's neat recycling trick. But it is not easy to find good wine vinegars. Mum needs to find a wine vinegar that's as great as her fave cider vinegar, Solana Gold, made with Sonoma County apples.

Anchovies are tiny fish of many diffurrent species that live in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans. Foodwise they are called an "oily fish." Mum finds them canned, packed in salt or in olive oil, usually including their little bones -- which we kittehs and some people eat along with the fish. (If packed in salt, brush all the salt off and store them in olive oil.) The typical brands seen in U.S. stores are marked "Product of Morocco." Are they high quality? Mum doubts it.

Mymewself finds anchovies purrfectly nommy. This is why, whenever Mum turns her back, the anchovy disappears, and so Mum has to get another one out of the can. ...

Do not let mymewself steal another anchovy before you get it in the jar. MOL

Appawrently some human cooks fear these itty bitty fish. Or purrhaps they just fear strong flavors? ... Fear not! A little bit of anchovy adds a "uniquely satisfying" flavor note to a salad vinaigrette or pasta sauce.

As for garlic from most supermarkets, it is blech. Often it is elephant garlic, and it has been in cold storage for about 1,000 years. Mum likes to use fresh garlic from a farmers' markets or food co-op. Garlic can be very mild and tasty, ourselves are told, though we cats and dogs do not eat garlic (or onions).

Put your dressing ingredients in a jar with a lid that seals well, so you can shake to mix. Mum is using a recycled pint-size Mason jar. If Mum wants a stronger-flavored dressing, she will play with these proportions, adding more to the jar until the mixture suits her. Then she will triple or quadruple the batch, and store any leftover dressing in the refrigerator.

Try this dressing on any fave green salad! And experiment with using it as a dressing for steamed or raw veggies!

Before you put the dressing on your salad, we hope you share some greens or veggies with your dog and cat companions.

Remember not to feed garlicky foods to us cats and dogs. A few licks are not toxic to most of us, but a larger amount of garlic is toxic to a pet's system.

Mum says: "Thank you, Joyce Goldstein! ... No cookbook inspires me more than your classic, The Mediterranean Kitchen."

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