Tuesday, 12 February 2013

How to make Aioli

This is one of those quests that seemed hard at first.  It seems every recipe is different, all with warnings as to why the other method shouldn't be done. I tried a few different methods and had a couple of absolute failures.  My food processor doesn't want to 'whip it into creamy submission' and putting all the ingredients in a bowl and using my hand blender goes against all the 'mayo making rules' the experts talk about (and it didn't work).  I also watched a bunch of YouTube videos and gagged when one woman taste tested her newly made batch of mayo by eating what was close to a mouthful (maybe this is where the term Food PORN was coined).  Her kids enthusiastically licked the mixer blades like it was cake batter.

And after all that, even with all my fancy kitchen equipment, a large bowl and a whisk ended up being my favourite method.

Homemade mayo or aioli is nothing like the store bought stuff and really worth the effort. I thought that making my own and not buying mayo anymore would be a real hassle but like anything, it is more of an adaptation to the new norm than it is a real pain.  I like my home made stuff so much more that I don't think I could ever go back. Besides, I made my home made version to be real food.  Not filled with canola oil and Calcium Disodium EDTA (Calcium Disodium may sound like a salt, but it is not, the proper name is the EDTA which is short for  Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid. It is made from a concoction of poisons and chelation chemicals. It is made from formaldehyde, sodium cayanide, and Ethylenediamine. YUM!)  Also consider this, vegetable oil is an Omega 6, that although good for you needs to be strongly out weighed by your consumption of Omega 3 or the excess Omega 6 becomes a major inflammatory.  Studies now show that it isn't your consumption of cholesterol that causes heart disease but your consumption of inflammatory foods ie. sugar, refined wheat products/bi-products, trans-fats and the imbalance of fat consumptions.  Consider this along with what I have previously written about eggs.

Feeling inspired to make your own now?

Homemade Aioli
1 egg yolk, from a fresh pastured egg, at room temp
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 cup mild or light flavoured olive oil (not an extra virgin olive oil)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp white wine vinegar (I used red wine vinegar with success, or try Champagne vinegar)
salt and pepper

In a large glass bowl whisk egg yolk and mustard until frothy.  Now start adding in the oil, drop by drop at first.  Going too fast could cause the mixture to split. Keep slowly adding the oil, quickly whisking in the oil after every addition making sure it is completely incorporated before adding more.  When the mixture starts getting too thick, it is time to incorporate in some of the lemon juice or vinegar to 'water' it down a little. Then add more oil, it can be more of a slow stream now, and continue until all the ingredients have been whisked in. Salt and pepper to taste.

One of the truly lovely things about mayo (aioli) is all the potential it holds for what it can become.  Mayo is the base for so many things so if you start with your home made version, all of these things become something so much better than you have had before

Tartar Sauce
Serve with fish
Add some chopped capers (drained), finely chopped pickle, lemon zest, lemon juice, and a small bunch of parsley finely chopped.

Roasted Garlic Mayo
Use on sandwiches
Add 4-5 cloves of roasted garlic to the finished recipe above and cut it with an extra squeeze of lemon juice.
Fresh Horseradish Mayo

Herbed Mayo (or what the French call Mayonnaise aux Fines Herbes)
Serve with eggs, fish, or poultry
3-4 tbsp of fresh minced herbs, such as tarragon, basil, chervil, chives, parsley, oregano)

Fresh Horseradish Mayo
Serve with roasts and braised vegetables
Mix 2 tbsp of freshly grated horseradish in recipe above.

Curry Mayo Sauce
Serve with meats, as the dressing for potato salad, dip for raw vegetables
Stir in 1/2 cup of plain yogurt with the recipe above. Add 2-3 tbsp of curry powder, some minced basil and a pinch of salt. 

Some of the biggest fears around home made mayo is salmonella poisoning.  I am not someone that is at all scared of food poisoning and don't believe I have ever had it. Big Daddy had it really badly once (not from my cooking!) so I do know how horrible it can be and certainly don't want to make you sick with my very casual attitude about food born bacterias.  I think my lack of fear is based in my knowledge of canning and pickling.  Once you have a few seasons of food preserving under your belt and you know the ropes around acid levels etc, you are a lot more comfortable about what you can and can't do.  All the being said, let's get back to mayo and salmonella - the salmonella would come from the raw egg.....there is a very little chance of there being salmonella in the egg to begin with but lets say there is....you are now adding acid into the mix with the lemon juice and vinegar....and the final product is quite acidic (pH of 3.6). That acid will kill any salmonella but with one small caveat.....you can't refrigerate it right away...I know, you are thinking I am crazy.  Thats right, leave your newly made mayo on the counter for 6-8 hours before refrigerating.

Don't believe me watch this, he talks about it at about the 10 minute mark - Anton Brown, The Mayo Clinic .  A great video about the ins and outs of mayo making but just don't follow his non 'real' food recipe.

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