Costco Moment: Crown Prince Anchovies

Serious foodies are supposed to prefer salt-packed anchovies, but rinsing and filleting them is a pain. If you're going to serve them whole and marinate them, their superior texture might be worth the trouble, but if you're going to chop or mash them up for a sauce or or dip, it's a lot of work for a small or perhaps undetectable difference.

The lazy cook's alternative is filleted anchovies packed in olive oil. The best price around for good quality is at Costco (450 10th St.), which sells a six-pack of Crown Prince for $5.89. These are caught wild off the coast of Morocco, cured in salt, then cleaned and packed by hand in olive oil.

Here's a recipe for people who really love that anchovy flavor:

Spicy Broccoli or Cauliflower Sauce
One and a half to two pounds broccoli or cauliflower
1 can anchovies in olive oil
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 head garlic
hot pepper flakes
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup tart white wine
  1. Wash the broccoli or cauliflower, trim stems, cut into fairly uniform pieces, and steam until soft.
  2. Crack the can and drain the oil into a pot large enough to hold all ingredients comfortably.
  3. Add olive oil to pot.
  4. Chop the anchovies and add to pot.
  5. Peel garlic, mince or press, and add to pot.
  6. Add hot pepper flakes to taste.
  7. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the garlic just starts to brown.
  8. Add wine and reduce until the consistency of a sauce.
  9. Reduce heat and simmer for ten minutes.
  10. Add broccoli or cauliflower and mash with a potato masher until you have a not-too-chunky sauce.
  11. Correct salt if necessary.
Use as a sauce for penne or rigatoni. Alternatively, reduce until fairly dry and use as a pizza topping (in which case reduce before correcting the salt).
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