toum, skordalia, mujdei

No matter the language, it’s universally delicious. That’s right, we’re talking about garlic sauce. I came home, dreading a night of studying, determined to attempt Aioli. (Procrastination manifests in many forms). Ever since I told you about the blog Use Real Butter, I simply couldn’t get those fried lemon slices with aioli out of my head. Garlic mayonnaise, if you desire the American translation. Barefoot Contessa featured a French aioli dish with boiled fingerling potatoes as dippers. Surely the French have a more sophisticated term for dipping devices… That, too, had me fixated on this sauce.

seemed simple enough...

After reading dozens of tips for homemade mayonnaise techniques, I was pumped up to make awesome aioli. And then, according to my sole witness nearby in the kitchen, the Dark Side emerged. Mine to be exact. I became intensely pissed off at a variety of appliances, as I (mid-emulsion) transferred beaten yolks from food processor to mini food processor to ineffective mixing bowl with handmixer. The yolks either sat lifeless below the processor blades, or ran away from the beaters of my handmixer. The attempt was a frustrating pain in the, well, you know. But once the garlic and yolks and lemon juice emulsified…OH MY.

I followed the recipe from the blog Use Real Butter, and next time I will use the huge whisk on my standmixer. I’m certain this will be way more efficient, and am excited to try again 🙂

3 cloves garlic
1/2 -1 tsp salt
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup olive oil
juice of 1 lemon

Make the aioli: Peel the garlic cloves and mince. Gather the garlic into a little pile and pour the salt over it.

With the flat of a sturdy knife blade (or a pestle, as in my case), crush the salt into the garlic until you get a nice paste.

Combine the paste in a bowl with the egg yolks. Whisk or beat the egg yolks together (you can also use a food processor…but I wouldn’t recommend it with this small of a batch), adding a few drops of olive oil at the start. I would NEVER consider this by hand, as even using an electric beater had me mixing mayonnaise for a solid ten minutes—with limited use of my left shoulder the rest of the night… Keep whisking and adding a little oil until it begins to thicken. When I say a little, I mean a TEENY SINGLE DROP at a time. That’s the secret.

Add a tablespoon of lemon juice and continue whisking in the remaining oil until it reaches the desired consistency and flavor. Add more lemon juice and or salt to taste. The consistency will thicken upon standing, or at least it did on my first attmpt.

Here’s the thing: it’s going to taste SO strong that even you garlic-lovers are going to think you went overboard with 3 cloves of garlic. But serving aioli as a dip for plain, fresh vegetables makes for a combination so beautifully French.

I couldn’t find any fingerling potatoes at the grocery store, so I roasted some baby red potatoes. No less fantastic, I imagine.

Now I had to get onto my studying, especially with this aioli-fiasco, so I heated up some pre-made soup. As in, it was already made when I found it at the grocery store. I’m very particular about buying pre-made foods, particularly soups for the sodium content. My absolute, absolute favorite (and exclusive) grocery-store soup pick? Pacific Natural Foods Organic Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato. Widely available, though you may have to head to the “natural” aisle of a store like Giant. For soup from a carton, little compares.

Baby arugula, walnuts, and my favorite simple lemon & olive oil (+ garlic + honey) vinaigrette on the side. A dinner so…memorable.


…with just enough leftover ailoi for the next day’s sandwich

(I could go on and on and ON about sprouted grain bread—particularly the sesame variety—but we’ll save that for another time)

1 Comment

Filed under dinners, techniques

One response to “toum, skordalia, mujdei

  1. Cathy Strodel

    Your former neighbor Debbie Shnider showed me your blog today. I really love it! Thank you for putting all of this info online. One of my favorite food blogs is I think you’d really enjoy it. Although, he must be taking a break as he hasn’t posted in a while. Anyway, I love your work.

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