Thursday, October 4, 2012

Anchovy Butter, Moroccan Carrots & Cab Franc

A couple weeks my wine club had a Cabernet Franc Vertical pairing dinner – with the 2004-2006 Adobe Road Cabernet Franc. As a wine club member I was able to get some library selections and we were able to get 2 of each bottle so it was a good sized dinner party. While we’ve had some other verticals, this was our first Cabernet Franc one! The wines were delicious-although one of the 2004s was past its prime, so if you have it, drink it! There was no clear favorite; it seemed to be was tied between the 2004 and 2005, although the 2006 was also lovely.
For dinner we had filets seasoned with garlic and tarragon, served with anchovy butter on the side (recipe follows), along with some Moroccan carrots (recipe follows), loaded baked potato casserole, and I think one other side. (my apologies if I forgot your contribution!) Anyway, this was my first time making – or even tasting – anchovy butter. It was relatively easy to make, but I’ll be honest, I was a little nervous because it smelled very anchovy-ish during the preparation stage, however I couldn’t even taste the anchovy once it was melted on the steak and even took another pat. All but one person loved it, and it paired well with the cab franc, so it’s something I’ll keep in the rotation (although not too often!). The carrots were actually amazing with the cabernet franc – and I don’t even like cooked carrots that much! For a "normal dinner" pairing I would recommend using cumin, coriander, and tarragon into as many dishes as possible. We looked at a cumin lamb recipie but opted against it because we wanted to focus on the nuances between the vintages, which was a good call, although it would’ve been an amazing pairing and is something I'll try next time I have a Cab Franc.
Here’s a couple of recipes from the event
Anchovy butter (makes about 20 ½ inch pats)
  • 6 anchovies packed in oil
  • 1 ½ stick of butter, room temp
  • 1 tbs chopped tarragon
  • 1 tbs garlic powder
Mash or food process ingredients together and then pour on a plastic wrap sheet. Roll into a log and refrigerate for an hour or more. Slice into pats and top steaks. (we chose to serve it on the side and allow guests to top their steaks themselves.) 
Moroccan Carrots 
  • 4 medium carrots (3/4 pound), thinly sliced on a mandoline
  •  1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Large pinch of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Salt

1. In a medium saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the carrots for 1 minute. Drain.
2. In a large skillet, combine the carrots with the orange juice, water, coriander, cumin and cinnamon and simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the sugar and the butter. Season the carrots with salt and serve. Credit:

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