Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Paper Chef 38-Anchovy Paté on Multigrain Crackers

Paper Chef is a fun monthly challenge where you get to create a dish with randomly selected ingredients and then post the recipe on your blog.

Mike was the winner of last month's Paper Chef so he randomly selected the ingredients of this month's challenge: anchovies, figs, mint, and then threw in polenta for fun. It took me a while to decide how to put these seemingly unrelated ingredients together, and I am not sure the mint really works in this dish, it gets masked by the strong anchovy's taste.

I adapted a whole grain cracker recipe by adding dry figs and stone ground polenta, and topped them with an anchovy paté my mom used to make. I then sprinkled fresh peppermint on the paté, thinking that the peppery taste would stand up to the anchovies. The combination of the crackers and the paté worked well, the mint flavor got lost, maybe infusing the butter with the mint ahead of time would have worked better. The challenge was fun, can't wait to see what the other bloggers concocted.

Whole grain crackers

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup stone ground polenta/cornmeal
1 cup dry figs, chopped
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/8 cup flax seeds
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup agave nectar

Mix all the dry ingredients together. Mix the buttermilk with the agave nectar and add to the dry ingredients. Pour into two loaf pans and bake at 350F until dry in the center. Let cool and slice thin. Toast in a 325F oven until crispy.

Anchovy Paté

4 oz. butter, softened
2 oz. anchovy fillets, drained

Mix the two ingredients until smooth.


Lori said...

Gret job! This is a wonderful creation!

Annabel said...

These look wonderful. Could you help me about agave nectar. What is it and is there something else you could use in its place?

Murasaki Shikibu said...

Combining the figs into the crackers is a great idea, because then you're free to bring the taste of anchovies to the fore. :)

Laura said...

agave nectar is a natural sweetener extracted by the agave plant. I find it at Whole Foods stores. I would think that you can use many different natural sweeteners in the recipe. It is really thick and syrupy, maybe malt syrup would work? You would have to try the substitution and adjust the amount of buttermilk to decrease the risk of a very wet dough.

Harini said...

Thanks for your comment...I think incorporating the mint into the pate sounds like a promising idea ..also, I preferred spearmint to peppermint in this combination of ingredients -- although I did use kalamata olives instead of anchovies, so I'm not sure if the spearmint would clash with the anchovy flavor. Anyhow, your entry is very creative.

Mikey said...

These look so tempting!


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