If you're going to hold onto anchovies for an extended period of time, transfer them to a container (ideally glass) with a tight fitting lid. Stored well, they'll last up to a year. (probably longer, but if there sitting in your fridge for a year, it's time to come to terms with them.)
They're great ingredient to have around and can be use in place of salt in many savory preparations. (dressings, sauces, soups, etc) Similar to soy sauce, they bring a unique flavor to a dish in addition to seasoning it.
This is my version of a classic Italian preparation typically made around the holidays. The catch is that it's consumed as a dip for bread and raw veggies, so I like to whip it up in the summer and fall when there are great vegetables to be had at the farmers market.
What I do is not very traditional, but it does create a very tasty anchovy dip. It's a great way to showcase the yumminess of anchovies, without an overpowering affect. It also calls for A LOT of garlic, so maybe it's not a great option for date night.
Bagna Cauda (my version)
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup, extra virgin olive oil
1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and halved. remove any
2 table spoons of anchovy paste (or a 2 oz. can of anchovy filets)
3 tbsps panko bread crumbs
Optional - 1 fresh habañero or 1 tsp of chili flakes
1. Place the milk, olive oil and garlic in a sauce pan over medium heat. (Add the habañero or chili flakes now it you're using them)
2. Once it starts to bubble, lower the heat to medium low and simmer gently for 20 minutes or until the garlic is very soft.
3. Stir in the anchovies and bread crumbs and turn off the heat.
4. Buzz well using a stand up or immersion blender. The bagna cauda should be thick enough to coat a spoon easily. (It should be good for dipping) If it seems loose, add some more bread crumbs and buzz again