I actually got to use my Lil Dipper crockpot thingy that came with my 6 qt crockpot for this. it hold about 1 1/2 cups and worked perfectly for this. I also saved the oil that the fillets were packed in (it was olive oil) and used that instead of regular olive oil. I didn't have to add any salt to the Bagna. I sauted the garlic and warmed the cream in the skillet and then put it in the plugged in little crockpot for about an hour until hubby got home. The unplugged crockpot kept it warm afterwards while we ate. Yes, this served just us fine with leftover veggies but no dip - we did try to eat more veggies than bread too.
I know there are recipes based more on olive oil, but I decided to go with this one since sometimes when I have too much olive oil I have liver pain - I didn't from this - although I worried that I might. CI tested (not surprising) and said that the olive oil ones separated and the anchovy/garlic sunk to the bottom which I could see happening because that's what happens when I do the balsamic/pepper/garlic dip for bread. They tried half-and-half and said that they missed the texture and heft that the heavy cream gave. I think next time I might try it with regular whipping cream and see what it's like though.
Serves 8 to 12
From Cooks Illustrated "The Best Italian Classics"
This sauce should be served warm, so use a fondue pot or double boiler for serving. Serve with crudities-style vegetables and either rustic pieces of bread or fresh breadsticks.
1 cup heavy cream
3 oz anchovy fillets, drained (about 35 fillets)
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
5 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press
pinch cayenne pepper
salt and ground black pepper
12 cups prepared vegetables
several cups cubed rustic bread or 12 to 24 fresh breadsticks
Place the heavy cream and anchovy fillets in a blender and blend until smooth, about 5 seconds. Set aside.
Heat the oil, garlic and cayenne in a small saucepan over medium heat until the garlic is translucent, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the anchovy cream mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is slightly thickened, 15 to 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm with the vegetables and bread.
Crudites: Each of the preparations listed below yields about 3 cups vegetables. Choose at least 4 vegetables for serving with bagna cauda.
Asparagus:Snap tough ends from 12 oz asparagus. Blanch in boiling salted water until bright green, 30 to 60 seconds. Drain, shock in ice water, drain again, and pat dry.
Broccoli: Cut florets from 1 small bunch (about 1 lb) into bite-size pieces. Blanch in boiling salted water until bright green, about 1 minute. Drain, shock in ice water, drain again and pat dry.
Carrots: Blanch 3/4 pound baby carrots in boiling salted water until bright orange, about 15 seconds. Drain, shock in ice water, drain again and pat dry.
Cauliflower: Cut florets from 1/2 medium heat (about 1 lb) into bite-sized pieces. Blanch in boiling salted water until slightly tender, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Drain, shock in ice water, drain again and pat dry.
Celery: Trim ends from 4 medium stalks (about 1/2 lb). Cut stalks in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 3-inch lengths.
Fennel: Remove and discard the stalks and fronds from 1 medium fennel bulb (about 1 lb). Cut the bulb in half lengthwise and remove the triangular core from each half. Cut into slices 1/2 inch thick. Blanch in boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Drain, shock in ice water, drain again and pat dry.
Green Beans: Trim ends from 8 oz thin green beans. Blanch in boiling salted water until bright green, about 1 minute. Drain, shock in ice water, drain again, and pat dry.
Bell peppers: Stem and seed 3 small red, yellow, or orange bell peppers. Cut into strips about 3 inches long and 3/4 inch wide.
Sugar snap peas: Remove ends and strings from 8 oz sugar snap peas. Blanch in boiling water until bright green, about 15 seconds. Drain, shock in ice water, drain again, and pat dry.
Tomatoes: Stem 1 pound cherry tomatoes.