Sharing a Communal Pot of Warm Bagna Cauda, Crispy Vegetables and Homemade Chewy, Crusty, Ciabattaa with family and friends
Oh the fun we had this past weekend with family and friends; and as promised, I wanted to share a special treat with you today.
My buddy, “Oh Rob,” as I affectionately refer to him, was in the house, and we made some Bagna Cauda to take to a picnic.
I asked if I could photograph him making it to share on my blog, and in true Oh Rob fashion, he graciously obliged.
Some of you might ask – “What the heck is Bagna Cauda?”
Others might say – “Ooooohhhh how I love that stuff!!!!”
Now don’t be scared off by the <ahem> low-calorie, low-cholesterol, low sodium ingredients…
You balance that by eating it with crisp, crunchy, healthy, fresh vegetables….
…..or crusty loaves of chewy bread (like the homemade Ciabatta we had!).
Now – Oh Rob is Italian – and oh how he loves being Italian! So you guessed it, Bagna Cauda is an Italian recipe.
Bagna Cauda is a warm dip served and eaten similar to fondue. It is made with garlic, olive oil, butter, anchovies, and Rob’s “secret” ingredient” (making this recipe a silver medal winner in a local bagna cauda competition!).
Bagna Cauda is best served in a large pan in the center of the table for communal sharing.
Are you ready?
To get in the mood, Rob first meticulously secures his Ivy Newsboy cap atop his head and spritzes himself with a bit of romantic, manly scented cologne.
He then chooses his favorite Italian music selection from his iPhone…
and pours a robust glass of dry red wine.
The mood is set. Can you feel it?
Now Rob begins the chopping of fresh garlic….
Trying every sharp knife and the good old Pampered Chef Food Chopper, Oh Rob finely chops the garlic, and adds it to his electric skillet that has been coated with a thin layer of olive oil.
After sautéing the garlic for a few minutes in the olive oil,
It is time to test the anchovy filets.
Per Chef Oh Rob, Bagna Cauda cannot be made without first sampling an anchovy filet on a cracker…
Oh Delizioso! We sampled on a sea salt flatbread cracker.
After passing our taste test, Oh Rob added two cans of anchovy filets with the olive oil they are packed in, smashing them and integrating and infusing them into the olive oil and garlic.
Per Oh Rob – “Roland” is the best. Around here, these cans sell for about $7.95 a can. And he gets them at our local Italian Store, Labriolas.
Next we add a……. yep – I have to admit – a pound of butter.
As Oh Rob adds the butter, he repeats the words of his wise Momma over and over – “Do NOT burn the butter Bobby. Do NOT burn the butter!”
Then it is time to add the Brugnoli family secret ingredient that Oh Rob gave me special permission to share.
2 – 3 heaping spoonfuls of sour cream get whisked in to finish this delicacy off.
Time to chop the veggies.
Notice our special helper and floor cleaner-upper, Mikey, is standing guard ready to help while Oh Rob cuts up crunchy stalks of celery to make great scoopers of Bagna Cauda,
And then some sweet red and orange and yellow peppers,
and chunks of cabbage.
Any firm, crisp vegetable you love tastes delicious dipped in bagna cauda.
And oh how wonderful it was communally sharing all this deliciousness with friends while sipping sangria.
Thanks for sharing Oh Rob, and thanks for a fun picnic Gary and Cindy. Great to see you Kathleen and Jack, and so glad to finally meet you Sally!
Mangia bevi e sii felice!
Eat Drink and Be Merry!
at Life In Between.
Cheers and Hugs,