Sunday, December 30, 2012

Saeko's Appetizers

K's sister offered to make appetizers for Christmas. Since Saeko is a very good cook, I knew that whatever she'd make would be delicious. Bagna càuda and this canapé made of prosciutto and avocado are apparently her go-to party dishes. We were happy to have something different, especially my dad.

Bagna càuda is a warm dip from Piedmont, Italy. Saeko's version consists of: milk, garlic, anchovy sauce, olive oil, and butter. I don't have specific measurements, but will provide rough estimates and instructions for it and the canapé below.

Saeko's Bagna Càuda 
Yield: about 1 cup
Garlic (2 bulbs, peeled)
Anchovy sauce (1 oz?) or anchovies (1 can)
Extra virgin olive oil
Butter (8 tbsp or 1 stick)   

1) Place garlic in a saucepan.
2) Pour enough milk to cover garlic.
3) Simmer until garlic is soft.
4) Mash the garlic in saucepan with liquid.
5) Add anchovy sauce or mash anchovies.
6) Add enough extra virgin olive oil (and oil from anchovy can) to make it smooth.
7) Add butter to make it creamier. (You may add more olive oil instead, or heavy cream).    
8) Serve with raw vegetables such as: carrots, celery, cauliflower, and radish.

Saeko's Prosciutto and Avocado Canapé
Avocado, diced
Lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
Bread, cut into small squares—we used rye, but you may whatever you prefer

1) Toss avocado with lemon juice.
2) Place small squares of bread onto plates.
3) Top them with prosciutto and avocado.

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