This post is part of Our Growing Edge, a monthly blogging event to encourage us to try new food related things. Marnelli from Sweets & Brains is the host for month’s event. If you have a blog and have cooked, eaten or experienced a new food this month, come and join this event.
The science of cooking both frightens and fascinated me. I cook by taste, touch and feel. A bit of this, a bit of that and dinner magically appears. When science is involved, I have to throw intuition out the window and follow a recipe. It doesn’t sit well with me.
I’ve failed and conquered hollandaise sauce and decided to tackle item number 70 on my foodie bucket list: make aioli. Both hollandaise and aioli are emulsions which means they are a mixture of two or more liquids that normally do not mix. Egg yolk and a good beating quickly fixes this.
Some vigorous whisking is required for this recipe and requires your full attention for a short time. You could make use of a spare set of hands or take turns. I had fun with this as I had some energy to burn but maybe give this one a miss at the end of a long day or if you have a dozen other kitchen tasks to multi-task. Personally, I would start with the aioli and multi-task your other dishes only after this is done.
Aioli plays very nicely with potatoes, fish, vegetables and eggs.
This recipe is adapted from this Epicurious recipe.
Makes about half a cup
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 garlic clove, finely grated
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Pinch of cayenne pepper or mustard
- Fresh lemon juice
- Add egg yolk, grated garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 2 teaspoons water to a metal bowl and whisk to blend well.
- Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in olive oil, a teaspoonful at a time, until sauce is thickened and emulsified. Whisking constantly, add olive oil a tiny, bit at a time until it is all whisked in. The aioli will be pale and thick.
- Stir in cayenne or mustard; add lemon juice (taste and add more if required), and more salt if you wish. Aioli will thicken on standing.
- Serve or cover and refrigerate until required. Bring to room temperature prior to serving.
Tip: Set a tea towel inside a small saucepan and a small metal bowl inside of this. This will give you a good stable base and you even have a handle to hold onto for vigorous whisking. Alternatively, you could make this using a saucepan alone.
Verdict: The Koala and I both loved this aioli and I love how low tech this recipe is. Just a handful of ingredients and some elbow grease required.
Note for next time: I think next time I will combine this recipe with my roasted garlic recipe to make a milder, sweeter roasted garlic aioli.
Genie–I am proud of you for conquering this. Well done. Keep in mind that emulsion sauces are all about the first 6 drops of oil. One drop at a time and fully incorporate before adding the next drop. This works by hand, emulsion blender, food processor or mixer.
Now how about making a Portuguese milk mayonnaise?
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