May 4th, 2015

Mayonnaise, Aioli Or My 15 Minutes Of Fame!



Sometimes, what really surprises me is how very simple foods taste so differently from the commercially prepared products. My family has come to expect certain foods to be made from scratch and not be purchased from an aisle at Safeway or even Whole Foods. This includes whipped cream, spaghetti, pancakes and mayonnaise. I always have a jar of Best Foods mayonnaise but when it comes to certain meals, such as asparagus, lobster, home-made French fries (yes, we eat them with mayo), nothing but the best for my family, real mayonnaise. Recently I was asked by my friendly neighborhood farmer market to provide my recipe for my famous aioli, which is a more elegant way of saying garlic mayo.

Years ago, I received a slim cookbook with my first Cuisinart. It was called “New Recipes for the Cuisinart by James Beard and Carl Jerome” and it seems that you could buy the book through Amazon for under a dollar. These recipes are solid and wonderful. But the recipe for Mayonnaise is outstanding and fool-proof. Just remember that you need to drizzle the oil into the feeder tube initially and in a few minutes, voila, perfect Mayo.

Anyway, the award-winning Monterey Bay Certified Farmers Market in Aptos California is a wonderful experience, their website is chock-full of great info and their blog “Edible Paradise” is a god-send for superb recipes (try the award-winning Kalamata Olive Fougasse Bread). There, in the section Miscellaneous, is listed “Nadine’s Garlic Aioli” – redundant title, but who am I to split hairs. And now I can say that I am a published food writer. Thank you, James Beard for your wonderful book and here is the excerpt from The Edible Paradise.

Nadine’s Garlic Aioli

As a regular customer at the Aptos Farmers Market, Nadine Frush can be spotted there almost every week carrying bags full of fresh produce from her favorite farmers. She also happens to be a wonderful cook — no surprise there!

Garlic aioli is one of her signature condiments that she keeps on hand. When I mentioned that we needed a good recipe for aioli for the Crispy Fried Calamari recipe, Nadine said, “Here’s the recipe I use for my garlic aioli. It’s based on a recipe that appeared in New Recipes for the Cuisinart by James Beard and Carl Jerome — a wonderful little book under 100 pages with great recipes.”

What’s the difference between aioli and mayonnaise? Basically, it’s the same condiment — however, aioli contains garlic. Garlic aioli is especially delicious served with crispy calamari or shrimp, crab, boiled small potatoes, homemade French fries, or crudites.

1 large egg
1 teaspoon white vinegar or lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups peanut oil*
1 clove of peeled, finely minced garlic
Optional flavor variations:
• 8 anchovy fillets
• 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
• 6 spinach leaves, 6 parsley sprigs, 4 green onions cut up, 4 sprigs of tarragon, 2 sprigs of dill

In the bowl of a food processor using the metal blade, add vinegar, egg, salt and pepper. Give the mixture two quick pulses and let it sit for 5 minutes. Then process until blended. While the food processor is running, slowly start dripping in the oil. As soon as it starts to thicken (when about 1/3 of the oil remains), you can speed up the pouring. Add the garlic (or other add ins). Refrigerate immediately. Aioli is good for about a week. Credits to New Recipes for the Cuisinart by James Beard and Carl Jerome.

* Nadine is French, and she says that where her family is from in France, “Our aioli is always made with peanut oil.” However, if you don’t have peanut oil on hand, you can use 3/4 canola oil and 1/4 olive oil. Don’t use all virgin olive oil for aioli — it overwhelms the flavor of the sauce. If you want to use all olive oil, a better choice is a blend or a very light olive oil.

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