For realz, yo. There were other amusing things that happened today, but this is by far the most awesome.
Now, I don’t just mean that I made alioli with a hand-blender or something. I made it WITH A MORTAR AND PESTLE. That is how hard-core I am.
So just to review: alioli (or aïoli) is a sort of mayonnaise that is made with a clove of garlic as the basic emulsifier rather than an egg. Originally from the Provençal / Catalonian regions, this recipe was traditionally made by crushing some garlic into a smooth paste and then adding mustard and oil until it takes on a mayonnaise-like texture. Egg yolks are sometimes added to speed up the emulsion, but the “real thing” involves just salt, garlic, oil, with a bit of mustard and a bit of lemon juice.
Here is a more general recipe for the sauce (although I disagree with the author’s use of egg), but here is what I did tonight:
- Take 2 large cloves of garlic, peel then slice finely and throw into a pestle (in retrospect, one was more than enough)
- Add salt, a little splash of olive oil, and a half-teaspoon of Dijon mustard.
- Pound and pound and pound. The garlic should turn into a paste.
- At a certain point, the olive oil you had added will disappear into the paste. At that point, add just enough oil to cover the paste and start pounding again.
- As the paste absorbs the oil, repeat the previous step again.
- When the paste starts getting a bit stiff, add the juice of half a lemon.
- Pound until the juice is absorbed, and then start again with the oil.
- Keep going until the paste starts getting stiff. NOTE: It’s very hard to get the sort of “hard” mayonnaise emulsion you get from store-bought mayonnaise, so don’t push the emulsion too far.
Now, I threw the entirety of the mixture over a super-large bowl of mâche greens and called it an appetizer. I should’ve left the alioli to mellow out a bit before eating, as the two cloves of raw garlic were strong enough to make my mouth hurt. I’m a big fan of spicy food, but even I had trouble finishing. Also, I stank of garlic for the rest of the night.