Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Day of the Great Garlic Massacre

So I'm an avid Babylon 5 fan, which my father introduced me to, and purchased the cookbook for my father on Fathers' Day a few years back.

Mr. Garibaldi's Bagna Cauda recipe was something I always wanted to try, and we finally did it tonight.

Looking over the recipe, I knew I couldn't use basil, I wanted to try something I could share with my roommate. The thyme worked well as a yummy substitute.

Anchovies are apparently hard to find in Germany, we were forced to use anchovy paste (which worked just fine).

But the garlic. I knew we had plenty of fresh garlic (almost a full bulb) and so didn't think about getting another one.

I started to chop, and discovered that the cloves I grabbed had started sprouting. So I grabbed more. Same thing. And more, and more... the entire bulb had started to sprout. I had been cutting the cloves in half and pushing them off the cutting board.

Cloves and garlic peels everywhere, trying to find something acceptable. There was naught but a clove. Whoops. Okay.

I shuffled through the carnage, trying to find the least green pieces. We were only doing a half recipe, but 2.5 tablespoons of garlic when you've got a clove to work with isn't the best feeling. I ripped apart the second best cloves, pulling sprouts out of them. I minced it all fine, and then measured it. Half a tablespoon short.

At this point, the garlic mess is all over the counter and my father is wondering if I need help (and not with the cooking).

I managed to get the last half tablespoon without too much more carnage (but have you seen how much space most of a bulb of garlic can take up when it's in about 100 pieces?!)

It came out perfectly, if a little salty (even without any extra salt!)

Bagna Cauda recipe from Dining on Babylon 5 (slightly modified, original in parentheses)
8 fl. oz Extra Virgin Olive Oil
125 g Butter
5 tbsp minced garlic
10 anchovy fillets
Salt, pepper, (1/4 tsp) thyme (basil) and (1/2 tsp) oregano to taste

Heat the oil, butter, garlic, and anchovies in a pan until the butter melts. Simmer for 4 minutes and then add seasonings.

Eat like a fondue! (Toast was great, though the recipe also recommended carrots and bell peppers)

Bagna cauda keeps surprisingly well in the fridge. I reheated it in the microwave for about a minute and it turned out just fine (go by the smell. When it stops smelling like anchovies and starts smelling like bagna cauda again, you're good).

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