Sunshiney Awesomeness

Someone asked me about this recipe rececently, so I thought I’d dig it out of the archives.  Enjoy!

About 20 years ago my best friend Carol and I found – and essentially – fell in love with Pizzicato. Back then it was a tiny little pizza place on Sylvan Hill – not too far away for us to sneak out for a to-go pizza boasting mouth-watering toppings like lamb sausage, feta, artichoke hearts, and lots and lots of roasted garlic.

As the years have gone by my love for Pizzicato has continued on unscathed.

My Mom actually got sucked into the Pizzicato obsession some years prior to her death, as well – and she introduced me to something new and fabulous at that time – and – well – my life was changed forever.

She introduced me to the Roast Turkey panini. The description is deceptively mild – it reads:

ROAST TURKEY, provolone, tomatoes & housemade aioli

Seems pretty – well – boring, right?

Au contraire, my love!

That housemade aioli is all sunshiney awesomeness (to borrow a phrase from my son, BiL) and enough to make you weep for joy.

One day – shortly before the Tanasborne branch of Pizzicato closed it’s doors… sniff… I was blessed enough to meet the guy who made the housemade aioli. I was explaining to him how it made my heart sing and taste buds rejoice – so much so that I always asked for extra for my sandwich, and an additional side to dip my kettle chips in. He smiled and laughed and said, “Sounds like a woman who needs to know how to make her own!”

And then the most amazing thing happened.

He walked away.

Mom and I shrugged, sat, and continuing to enjoy our shared Roast Turkey panini when – lo and behold – said young man returned, quietly slipped me a small piece of paper, then held his finger to his lips and said, “Shhhh!”, smiled, and then walked away.

BE STILL MY BEATING HEART!

He gave me the recipe for the housemade aioli!

I was nearly weak at the knees.

And I promptly went home and whipped up a batch.

Now – my friends – I shall share the wealth.

The great news is that you probably have everything you’ll need for a quick little batch of this wonderfulness. (Have I mentioned here ever that BiL adds “ness” to the end of most descriptor words?)

You’ll need a couple of cloves of garlic, some kosher salt, an egg yolk, a little lemon juice, a bit of Dijon mustard, extra virgin olive oil, and vegetable oil.

This goes so fast – you’ll be amazed!

First – peel your garlic cloves. Yeah – I know – the recipe calls for 2 cloves of garlic. I wanted 3 – so I used 3. The world has continued to rotate on its axis. Life will go on. Okay – so I throw the garlic cloves into my cute little OXO chopper, and mince away. Once it’s pretty decently minced, I scrape the garlic into a small bowl, and add the 1/4th teaspoon of kosher salt.

With the back of a spoon I mash the garlic and salt together to make a sort of a paste. Be warned – it smells fabulous and your mouth is most definitely in danger of starting to water here! When the paste comes together into a kinda mushy mass, set it aside.

Now – in a small mixing bowl you place the egg yolk, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice (and yes, fresh would have been better, but I’m fresh out!), 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil, and 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard.

With a wire whisk blend this together until it’s smooth. See? Nuthin to it!

Now, I combine the remaining oil – i.e., the 1/4th cup of extra virgin olive oil, and the 2 remaining Tablespoons of vegetable oil – in a glass measuring cup. Add those just a few drops at a time to this egg/lemon juice/mustard/oil emulsion. Be sure to mix it thoroughly – you don’t want to see any streaks of oil. It will look sort of like this after the first few additions of several drops of oil:

As you add oil and beat the emulsion, it will lighten in color slightly, and decidedly thicken in consistency. Take an extra minute or so after the final addition of oil and whisk it briskly.

Now… add the garlic/salt paste:

…and go ahead and whisk together for another minute or so.

And…

Voila!

….stuff to make your heart sing!

I transfer it to a small storage container and refrigerate for a good hour before using.

Let me just recommend taking some deli meat and cheese, rolling it up, and dipping into this fabulous stuff at the conclusion of that hour – it will make your world a better place!

Enjoy!

Aioli

Ingredients
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 large Egg yolk
2 teaspoons Lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons Vegetable oil
  1. Mince and mash garlic to a paste with the kosher salt using a heavy knife or chopper.
  2. Whisk together yolk, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, and mustard in a bowl.
  3. Combine the remaining oils and add – a few drops at a time – to the yolk mixture, whisking constantly until all of the oil is incorporated and the mixture is emulsified.
  4. Whisk in garlic paste and additional salt (if needed) and fresh ground pepper to taste.
  5. If aioli is too thick, whisk in 1 to 2 drops of water. Chill, covered, until ready to use.

Notes:

If the mixture separates (at step 3), stop adding oil and continue whisking until the mixture comes together, then resume adding oil, just a drop or two at a time.

If you have a mini food processor – it would be a total breeze to use to throw this aioli together in just a few minutes, rather than whisking it in by hand.

DO try this as a spread for a lovely turkey and provolone sandwich.

DO try it as a dip to eat with your Kettle chips, pretzels, or breadsticks.

DON’T keep it for more than three or four days – this isn’t the kind of thing you make bazillions of unless you know it’ll get used. But it’s SO worth making just the perfect quantity of for a specific application. I promise!

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Home Made Mayo

It wasn’t that many years ago that I didn’t know you could make your own mayonnaise.

I mean – hello?! – raising her hand to confirm that yes, she indeed, is a product of mass marketing.

Make your own mayonnaise? I thought.

What’s even IN mayonnaise?

And if you read the label of the mayo that most folks keep in their fridge – you know, the mayo that gets stored at room temperature on the shelf until you open it up (ewww) – you’d see:

Which some folks would be just fine with.

I’m not.

I kept wondering why my mouth would be burned and blistered after I’d have mayonnaise, and then I read the label.

DUH.

I’m allergic to soy!

So when I heard someone mention they made their own mayo I was A-M-A-Z-E-D.

Really?

You can do that?

Oh my yes, and not only can you (it’s easy – I promise!) – you should.

Honestly – once you have the home made stuff, you’re just not gonna be happy with the yucky store-bought stuff anymore.

Yeah, it’s that good.

So – without any further ado – let’s make some Home Made Mayo!

First, the ingredients: Egg, oil, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice. (Sorry – the oil didn’t make it into the shot!)

I know! – Right?! – Only FOUR ingredients, okay 6 if you count the salt and pepper.

I should say right here and now – I’m making a double batch here – the basic recipe (here’s the link) is one egg – this post has twice the called-for amount of the ingredients. Just want to make sure we’re on the same page and all.

It’s all about balance, mayo. And getting emulsification going.

I’m all about getting a good result and doing it efficiently. So – I pull out the Cuisinart. I love my Cuisinart. 🙂

So let’s stop a minute and talk ingredients, okay?

Eggs: First – the fresher the eggs the better this mayo is going to come together AND taste. Yes, I know, not everyone has hens in the backyard and can walk out the door, gather the eggs, and then make mayo like I can. If you don’t have your own egg-laying little miracles in the backyard – find someone who does and buy a dozen from them!

Also – you can use whole eggs, or you can use just the yolk. I’ve been known to use one whole egg and one egg yolk in a (double) batch. You can mix it up. If you use the whole egg it’s going to be a smoother, looser consistency when it’s all said and done. If you use just yolks – which is totally a-okay – just be prepared to maybe need to thin the consistency out with a few drops of hot water at the end.

This particular batch I used 2 eggs that the girls laid this morning. Hence, the lovely bright orange yolks.

Oil: I prefer to use Extra Light Virgin Olive Oil. LOVE the stuff. You can use whatever oil that you prefer – the big caveat here being you want the oil to NOT convey a lot of flavor. Something neutral is best.

Acid: This recipe is using lemon juice – and the stuff in the refrigerator to boot! Yes, you could use fresh-squeezed lemon juice – it’s SO good. I just happen to be out of lemons at the moment. You could use white wine vinegar. I’ve used rice wine vinegar, and balsamic vinegar, and lime juice, etc… Yes, each one brings a different flavor profile to the finished result – just keep that in mind.

Mustard: If you’ve known me any length of time you know I’m biased. When I find something that’s good – well, why use something else?! That’s how I feel about Dijon mustard. Yes, I use Grey Poupon. Why mess with perfection? I guess you could try others – I have in the name of saving a few pennies. SO NOT WORTH IT! So now you know my bias about Dijon – just use the good stuff, okay? Okay!

Into the bowl, with the metal blade in place, place the eggs, 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice, 2 Tablespoons of Dijon mustard, and 2 Tablespoons of oil.

Now, put the lid on and turn the thing on.

Process for ONE MINUTE.

Yep – just 1 minute. That’s all you need to get this emulsification thing going.

Here’s what it looks like just as that one minute is almost up:

Now… You know the little tube-y thing that’s in the shute in the lid of your food processor? It’s got a dribble hole in the bottom – brilliant people who designed them. Now – making sure the lid is on and locked – turn the food processor back on, and take 1/4 a cup of the 2 1/2 cups of oil that you need for this recipe and put it in that dribble tube. See?

And this is what it looks like after the first 1/4 cup of oil has been added in and it’s been processed for a couple of minutes…

…kinda bubbly and no big oil slicks on the top, right? Hooray! That means emulsification is doing it’s thing!

So – what do you do if there is an oil slick on the top? Put the lid back on and turn the thing back on for another minute or two. Chances are it’s going to incorporate in that time and everything is going to be okay.

Now – with the food processor running – dribble in the oil, in a very fine stream.

It’s gonna take a little while. See the time stamp on the pictures? The one just above was taken at 2:57. The one below – when all of the oil has been added in and incorporated was taken at 3:12.

And this, my friends is what it looks like when it’s mostly done:

Some people don’t want salt and pepper or any other spice in their mayo. I just like it better with the salt and pepper, so I added in 1 teaspoon of Mediterranean sea salt and about 1/4 a teaspoon coarse ground black pepper.

…and then processed again for maybe another 15 or 20 seconds. Then, Voila!

It’s all done!

I wish you could smell it and touch it. Smells fabulous, and the texture is satiny smooth and wonderful.

This double batch made a bit more than 3 1/2 cups of mayonnaise wonderfulness.

Now – before we get any further, you need to know you can seriously put a twist on this recipe.

Try adding in some freshly minced – or – OH! – roasted – garlic cloves. YUM.

[Memories of sitting on the patio of a little cafe along the promenade in Benidorm, Spain – with the sun shining on the Mediterranean just steps from where we were sitting, dipping those fun little skinny breadsticks in a wonderfully garlicky mayo. :sigh: Must go back to Spain!]

Or maybe a few leaves of just-picked-and-brought-in-from-the-garden basil. :swoon:

Or how about a little green onion and/or chive?

See where I’m going with this? The possibilities are nearly endless!

So – here’s the thing, I do this kind of revolutionary thing after I get the mayo into my storage container…

I put the lid on, set the timer for 4 hours, and then leave it on the countertop in the kitchen.

Yep – you heard me right.

I don’t speed it right to the fridge.

Why?

So those lovely little probiotics can get to work and get established in there, that’s why.

After the 4 hours are up, off to the fridge it goes, and it can stay there for about a week and a half. This is not – after all – your store-bought, preservative-laden, mayo. It will go bad, and why eat bad mayo when it’s so easy to whip up another batch of the good stuff?

Okay – so see? It was SO easy.

Go make some mayo. Really – completely worth the 20 minutes of your life it’ll take up.