Bagna Cauda

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Do you ever wonder about the person who first created a recipe?
I mean who would think of putting anchovies, garlic, olive oil and butter together and then using it as a warm dip for veggies? 
I can see the garlic, olive oil  and butter together, but why would someone throw in anchovies? 

I like anchovies, on a hard cooked egg, but in a dip? Really?

I actually heard about this from Russell Blair who used to help me out from time to time at the Senior Center.  And since I like to play with food, I decided to make it for Tapas last month.  BTW, Russell is actually a real life Chef who's been cooking professionally for many years.  So, I listen to him when he talks about food.
Back to the Bagna Cauda from Tapas last month.
I really wasn't that crazy about it.  I have to admit.
But then again, I'm told I didn't let it simmer long enough, that the 1/2 hour or so I had it on the stove was not long enough for the anchovies to 'melt' and change.
He swore that the longer you cooked it the better it became.


I had to try making it again, cause I knew it could be good.  I even searched a few websites for recipes.   I found this recipe and then ended up tweaking it a little, well, maybe more than a little, but it was so good.

And you know, this time I done did it, I nailed that recipe and I will make this again.  Thanks Russell.

We were invited to a friends house this past week and were treated to an array of home made pizzas'.  I didn't take pictures of the various pizzas', and now I'm kinda sorry.  But I wanted to bring something to share that was Italian in nature and decided to try the Bagna Cauda again.

I'm glad I did.

Very glad.

Recipe:  Bagna Cauda

1/4 lb. butter, melted
2 roasted garlic cloves (I made my own)
2 tablespoons garlic infused olive oil
1 tablespoon anchovy paste
1 cup heavy cream.

Melt the butter over very low heat, the lowest heat you have on your stove.  Add the garlic, anchovy paste, and olive oil.  Let cook for at least 45 minutes or so.  Stirring it from time to time.  The garlic and anchovy paste will disappear into the butter.  Pour in the cream, and let it cook until it thickens.
Take off of the heat and serve with some crusty bread or do as I did, roast some cauliflower, carrots and slice up some crusty bread for dipping.  I did end up serving this lukewarm, and it was very good.   I'm told that it should have been served hot, but we ate it anyway. 

I have to admit to two new addictions.  Roasted Cauliflower and Roasted Carrots.   The ones I made the other day barely made it to the gathering.  I had to keep tasting them. 
And the little bit of Bagna Cauda left over?  Well, I've been dipping bread into it and eating it for lunch.

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