Move over, Hellmann's, here comes aioli! My all-time favorite way to eat aioli is to use it as a dip with fried yuca, but that's just my Latin American taste.
Aioli, an old Provencal word, essentially comes from two words: ail (garlic) and oli (oil). Aioli can also be enjoyed with broiled fish, potatoes, crab cakes, and yes, French bread also. In Latin American and some Caribbean nations, aioli can also be enjoyed with fried yuca — a starchy root vegetable that, in my humble opinion, is best enjoyed fried. Although aioli is not exactly a diet food, it is all natural, which, in my opinion, is a huge plus.
My love for aioli began as a child when my father would make it at home. My father was of French descent; his family came from Grenoble in the south of France. He would tell us that, growing up, he and his siblings would patiently wait in the kitchen with a chunk of French bread (homemade, I am certain) in hand, while his grandmother slowly and patiently prepared the aioli. Mind you, grandma was most likely using a bowl, a fork, and plenty of muscle!
In making aioli, the key ingredient is PATIENCE. The oil needs to be added in a very slow stream, and I mean s-l-o-w! The reason for this? Pure chemistry! Aioli is an emulsion (minute droplets of a liquid suspended in another liquid); if the oil is added too rapidly, you will break those protein bonds in the egg yolk and create a curdled mess. Now, if this unfortunate accident were to happen to you, and I am not saying it will, you can do a couple of things: 1) You can add vinegar and tarragon, and voilà, salad dressing. 2) Another option is to start a fresh batch and slowly add the flopped batch.
DO MAKE SURE THAT ALL YOUR INGREDIENTS ARE AT ROOM TEMPERATURE (sorry for the caps, but this is soooo important) as this will affect the way the eggs and oil emulsify. Cold ingredients might cause the emulsion to curdle. Yes, it is finicky, but it is so worth it!
Although there are some variations, this is the one I grew up with and one that I hope you try and enjoy. I must warn you, the taste is really strong (I mean, ward off the vampires strong), but a little goes a long way. I encourage you to try it on a baked potato; it makes a great alternative to sour cream.
Aioli is a cross-cultural condiment that can be used as an alternative for mayonnaise and sour cream. You can easily serve it as a sauce for fish, potatoes, or even bread. Give it a Latin spin by using it as a dip with fried yuca.
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 egg yolk
- Pinch of kosher salt (paleo diet: sea salt)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cup olive oil
- Remove peel from garlic and smash with a fork on a cutting board.
- In a bowl, beat egg yolk and add salt, lemon juice, and smashed garlic.
- In a slow stream, add the olive oil while whisking. Continue doing this until all the olive oil has been added. The resulting mixture should be slightly thick. It is very important to add the oil in a very slow stream.
- Enjoy with french fries, crab cakes, broiled fish, or French bread!
- South American
- Total Time
- 19 minutes, 59 seconds