Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Well Equipt 1

Whisked Away: Homemade Garlic Aioli

Part of making magic in the kitchen is having the right tools for the job. While some of my favorite kitchen gadgets are fancy pieces of pricey machinery (I fully intend to write love letters to my food processor and stand mixer), others are basic, low-tech, inexpensive tools that are indispensable in creating delicious creations. The first of these is the humble whisk. I have two of these handy tools in my drawer- a silicon whisk I use with my non-stick and enamel cookware, and a regular wire whisk for other jobs. Dressings, whipped cream, fluffy eggs, sauces, meringues, and rues can all be accomplished with a flick of the wrist and your trusty whisk. So let's all celebrate this utensil and its knack for effectively incorporating air into some of our favorite recipes.

You may ask . . . "Why the hell would you bother making your own mayonnaise?" Uhhh . . . because it's delicious and easy to make. This garlic aioli takes a little bit of elbow grease, but is a tasty and versatile condiment- use it as a dip for sweet potato fries, a sandwich spread, or a topping for grilled salmon. Seriously . . . try it and you'll be hooked.

- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
- 3 clove garlic, minced
- fresh ground pepper

Combine egg yolk, lemon juice, vinegar, Dijon, and salt in medium bowl. Whisk until well blended, about 30 seconds. Slowly (seriously, this is important) add 1/4 c. olive oil a few drops at a time into egg mixture, whisking constantly for about 4 minutes. The aioli will begin to thicken. Then gradually add the remaining cup of olive oil in a very slow, thin stream, whisking constantly until mixture becomes thick (about 8 minutes). Don't rush this process or the mixture won't thicken. When the aioli becomes thick, add minced garlic and season with fresh ground pepper to taste. Cover and chill. Aioli can be made two days ahead of time. Keep chilled. Remember, there is raw egg in the recipe, so it's not the kind of thing you want sitting around for weeks. The fresh, creamy taste is unbeatable! You'll never want to go back . . . although, admittedly, your arm will get a little sore from the whisking.

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