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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dipping Sauce

This is one of my favorite recipe acquisition stories ever. A few years ago we invited a few friends over for a potluck dinner. One couple volunteered to bring the bread and they thought it would be a great idea to also bring a Carrabba's-style dipping sauce. The husband set to work trying to replicate the recipe from one of everyone's favorite Italian restaurants. "Why don't you just call them and ask them what they put in it?" the wife asked.

"They'll never tell me that," replied the husband. The wife got on the phone and asked the hostess who answered the phone, "Can you tell me what's in your dipping sauce?"

The hostess put her on hold for a moment and then came back. "I'm only going to say this once," she said, "and I'm going to go fast. Write it down." She then listed off the ingredients, if not the proportions, of their herb mix.

I'm quite sure that we don't have the perfect Carrabba's proportions, either, and we use dry herbs instead of fresh because they store much easier. So I won't go on record as calling it Carrabba's sauce. But it's good. You'll like it.

Italian Dipping Sauce
Granulated garlic (or mince fresh garlic over the final mix as you serve it)
Cayenne pepper
Black pepper

I usually mix in a teaspoon or so of each (except for the cayenne and maybe the black pepper, which I do to taste) which makes enough for several meals, even with our tribe. Just store it in an airtight container.There are wonderful ways to vary this recipe. Sometimes I minimize the granulated garlic and then add a bit of fresh minced garlic when it's served. I've also added a little bit of grated parmesan at serving time.

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