Yes, it is one of those homemade items that intimidates people, but if you follow the instructions below I can promise, no guarantee, that you will produce gorgeous, addictive aioli. And then you can join the smug club and feel beyond self-satisfied when you share your wealth.
Key Tips to Perfect Aioli (or homemade mayonnaise)
1. Chill your metal bowl and whisk at least 30 minutes before beginning.
2. Use the freshest eggs you can find (if you're not getting them from your neighbor with chickens, just be sure to check the date when you buy them in the store. (Kidding about your neighbor, but lucky you if that is where you're getting them!)
3. Use a tablespoon to drip the oil into your mixing bowl rather than pouring it in. This ensures that you do not pour too much at a time and your aioli will emulsify.
4. Place a dish cloth under your mixing bowl so that it does not spin away from you as you whisk the aioli (while your other hand is dripping in the oil).
I served my recent batch of aioli with some oven-baked onion rings - next up on the blog, so keep an eye out for them. But it is equally good as a dipping sauce for cut veggies - crudites for you Francophiles - or smeared on grilled anything, or simply slathered on your latest sandwich creation. It is somewhat misleading to call this a "pantry" item because it really should be eaten within 3-4 days of making it - there are raw egg yolks in it. But trust me, it will be hard to make it last that long!
Aioli - Fresh Garlic Mayonnaise
(makes 1 cup)
2 egg yolks
2 small cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sunflower (or safflower) oil
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Place a small metal bowl and hand whisk in the freezer to chill for 30 minutes before beginning. In a mortar and pestle grind the garlic with the salt, allowing the salt to help soften the garlic. Mash it into a paste so that no chunks of garlic remain. Scrape garlic mash into the chilled bowl and add egg yolks and whisk until fully blended. Pour oils into a single container - I use a measuring cup. Place a folded dish towel on the counter or table where you are going to work and fit bowl snugly on dish cloth. Using a tablespoon drip the oil into the yolk mixture drop by drop, whisking continuously. Do not whisk so hard that the bowl spins away from you, but experiment so that you begin to get a rhythm. Keep adding oil until mixture begins to emulsify. If oil is not being incorporated well enough, you will see streaks of oil in the mixture. Stop adding and whisk until oil is incorporated. Once you have finished adding half the oil, add vinegar and mustard and whisk to combine. Add remaining oil and whisk in lemon juice at the end. Ready to use immediately but firms up in the refrigerator.
Recipes currently inspiring me.
Garlic and Herb Skillet Croutons at The Garden of Eating
Flatbreads with Creamy Red Pepper Scallion at Post Punk Kitchen
Roasted Lemon Parmesan Broccoli at Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice