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Garlic Challenge, Part II

Oh, how time flies when you have a ticking time bomb sitting in your refrigerator.

I'm talking, of course, about my super-abundance of garlic, as mentioned in a previous post.

Although the posted expiration date is past, they seem to be holding up well, so I've had some time to play with these stinky little gems.

bulb of garlic

After discovering the many ways one can use up one's supply of roasted garlic spread, making 40-clove chicken (twice), pumping out a bunch of Indian cuisine and sneaking slices of the stuff into everything short of breakfast cereal, I was casually wondering why I haven't had a date in weeks. That's when I received this note from an old friend:

Found your garlic dilemma interesting.

Here's a suggestion: I went to a party in Colorado a few years ago. The host, Tom Cavelli, made something he called bona calda. I don't remember the exact recipe — we both had a lot of beer that night — but it included a huge amount of garlic.

Here goes:
2 cups, yes cups, of finely chopped garlic.
4 ounces of anchovies
enough cream to kind of hold it all together

It seems like he sautéed the garlic and anchovies, then added the cream.

We all dipped bread and vegetables into the bona calda while it was still in the pan. I thought it was wonderful, but as I said, I had a lot of beer that night.

For the next three days, I could not get toothpaste to foam up in my mouth.

This helpful suggestion seems to fall into under the "when your cup runneth over with stinky bulbs, pile on fermenting fish" school of thought, and I believe that only the addition of Corn Nuts could ensure a more foul perfume.

But following Dan's lead, I did, indeed whip up a delightfully nasty frenzy of garlic, fish and fat. I recommend you pair this recipe with a hoppy India Pale Ale, a pile of Netflix and a weekend alone.

More commonly known as Bagna Cauda (bahn-yah cow-dah), this creamy-salty-fragrant sauce is of Northern Italian (Piedmont) extraction.

The name translates as "hot bath," and it's traditionally served as the hot bath for cut veggies. Think: fennel slivers, sunchoke strips, carrot sticks, sliced red peppers, zucchini sticks, etc.

As one of the folks in the comments mentioned, it's a popular Italian New Year's Eve appetizer (with, of course, attendant rumors of good luck and good fortune).

Additionally, as you might gather from the name, it's intended to be served warm (maximize that aroma!), but don't boil it.

Many folks do as Dan and his crew did, gathering around the kitchen and eating bagna cauda straight from the pan. A piece of bread is often used as an edible platform for any delicious drippings that are bound to occur.

Meanwhile, back at Chez Ginsu, five cups of garlic still remain in the fridge, so it seems some kind of garlic jelly looms in my future... I'll document that conclusion in Part III of the garlic saga.

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Anonymous Jennifer said...

This is an area favorite in my 'Little Italy Town' only there are a few variations to this recipe. Some use cream but most people don't around here. You need a LOT of butter, NOT margarine, but butter....and sautee your garlic in there. I like to use a razor so the garlic melts. Also, most around here also use tuna along with the anchovies. It's tasty on a fresh crust of bread or cabbage, etc. Either people love it or hate it, lol.

Anonymous Jennifer said...

Oops...I wanted to mention it's really popular at new year's for some reason.

Blogger Lindsey said...

Yeah, finally Bona Calda! I've been searching high and low for this! I love it! Our recipe includes 2 bulbs of garlic, a pound of salted butter, anchovies, sardines and half/half. I LOVE IT! It's a Christmas staple! Enjoy!


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