Friday, February 19, 2010

February 19th - Garlic and Anchovy Dip with Vegetables

All for Naught and Naught for All

Y'all were right.  The worrying about the mini desserts for last night's fund raiser was unnecessary.  And wouldn't you know it, the spicy peanut butter truffle with potato chip was the hit of the night.  Word spread fast and we ran out of them at 8:00 (event went until 9)!  I made about 175 of them.   The folks there did like the other two desserts as well, but the potato chip and spicy peanut butter shocked them.  Which was good because I like making people leave their comfort zone to try new foods and flavors.

Also want to give a shout out to my partner in crime for the event, Jon, and the students Cassi, Pat, Matt, and Rachael.  They all did such an outstanding job bringing my dessert visions to life.  Thank god they remember to bring cameras because my nervous nelly butt forgot!  So pictures will be coming as soon as someone e-mails them to me.

We ended up getting $600 for our school's auction package which was 8 tickets to our fine dining series.  Not bad.  Although later on in the auction, some chefs started adding cases of wine and boosting up their number of participants to increase bids.  One package went for $1700.  Had I known, I would have thrown in a free cooking class in there.  Oh well...$600 for the American Cancer Society is better than $0. 

So next week Saturday is the last of my fine dining series for this school year.   The French Dinner will be tres magnifique!  Yes, I will make sure to bring my camera with me for this one!  It's 8 courses of sheer French mayhem.  I've got to start prepping for it on Monday cause we've got 72 people and a ton of components to make.  (I'll post the menu on Monday.)


Okay, the first thought that went through my head when I read the title of this recipe was "oh my god, I'm going to have stinky breath".    My second thought, "this is going to be horrible". 

Apparently this is based off of an Italian dish called bagna cauda, which I never heard of.   So I was quite intrigued by it.  Traditionally it served with vegetables in a big communal pot in the center of the table.  Cream is often times added to the oil, butter, garlic, and anchovies.   That sounds like a stomach ache!

Weird and random fact:  According to wikipedia (the end all and be all of truth on the Internet) "bagna cauda is especially popular in the central Illinois region, south of Joliet, and can be found served in local restaurants and bars. Rather than cream, milk is used, often with a blend of mushroom soup".   Well, who would have thunk it?


Olive Oil:  Had
Garlic: Had
Butter: Had
Anchovies: $1.85
Veggies for dipping: $5.99

Total: $7.84

I actually don't mind anchovies.  I know a lot of people hate them.  But, with the garlic in it, the fishy flavor gets mellowed out.  If you're not an anchovy fan, then I say skip this recipe, I won't try and convert you.  For the more adventurous among the group, try this recipe!

Fast:  About 6 to 10 minutes in total.  Cutting up the vegetables to dip in the sauce is the hardest part.

Easy:  Very, very, very simple

Fresh:  Okay.  Let me re-iterate that when I think of "Fresh", I think of garden fresh vegetables, flavorful fresh herbs, and overall bright crisp flavors.  Oil, cheese, butter, and meat are not fresh on their own.   So this dip, I don't consider fresh.  The vegetables you dip in the bagna cauda would be fresh, but that's not what I'm judging.  So, Bon Appetit and Nikki on this one.  I throw down my empty anchovy tin somewhere in your general direction. 

Overall:  This was different and surprisingly quite good.  Probably not the most healthy thing to eat, but I would serve it at a party.  Sometimes its the simple recipes that are the best.  I think I'm a banga cauda fan now! 

Alright kids, dessert tomorrow.  Time to break out the tart pans!


joan said...

Hi Mark,

This is Joy's sister, Joan. I have been following your blog and love it! I have to comment today because I had never heard of bagna cauda either until I met my husband. His family had it every New Years Day at his Grandma's house. (With a last name of Monicatti - you can get the picture!) They blanch some cabbage and have bread with it too. The cabbage is super yummy. So now, every once in awhile, we will do it here. Luckily, I have kids who like anchovies (good little italian boys!). We never do the cream, just pure butter, olive oil, garlic and anchovies. I am always looking for new recipes for it (God knows why since it has 4 ingredients in it!). I may break out the fondue pot tonight and give this one a try!

SuperStar Chef Mark said...

Hey Joan,

Welcome!!! Hope you've been doing well. Thanks for the comment. I think we need to make bagna cauda the "it" dish for 2010! I've got a lot leftover (because it's just Bri and I) so I'm going to pick up some cabbage today and try it together. Yummy... Well I hope you continue to enjoy the blog. Comment whenever you like.

It's nice to have a Bauman (now Monicatti) sister who actually appreciates food! :)

joybjoyful said...

Hey! This is the other Bauman sister - and what's with your comment to Joan about having a Bauman sister who actually appreciates food??! Are you freakin' kidding me?? You think I don't appreciate food? Better find another name for those bars you were going to make because I'm not going to let you use my name anymore. So there!!

SuperStar Chef Mark said...

Oh, Joy! Brian said you'd get riled up after that comment, I didn't believe him! :0

I'm kidding, of course.

nik.zimm said...

Well, after the anchovy tin boinked me on the back of the head, I picked up the phone and called my Italian friend, Karen. She was unfamiliar with bagna cauda, but her family reigns from a more southern region. She did however look it up and say that Mario Batali had some variations and very good things to say about it. Glad you liked it - looking forward to trying it. --- Oh! Thanks for the sample of the walnut tart. I love walnuts. :)