Sunday, May 24, 2009

Heavenly Aioli

Just as birds change locale as the weather warms our diets migrate from comfort foods to lighter fare including many different kinds of salads and sandwiches. One of our favorite condiments is mayonnaise and especially aioli. I do keep a jar of "Real Mayonnaise" in the refrigerator as a staple in our kitchen. However, the flavor and texture of home made mayonnaise or aioli makes the stuff from the store taste like school glue. I also preserve Meyer lemon rind in salt and lemon juice to flavor dishes with a much deeper and more complex flavor that fresh lemon juice and salt are capable of. My favorite olive oils come from Olivier in Saint Helena. If you are ever in the Napa Valley, be sure to visit the store to taste the various oils and bottle them yourself. They also recycle their own bottles with a corresponding discount on new oil for every bottle you return. The most versatile extra-virgin olive oil they sell is the Mission Variety, which is also available on-line. The preserved lemon rind and this supreme olive oil come together in my home made aioli.

Meyer Lemon Aioli

Yield: Makes about 1 cup

1 large egg yolk (Pasteurized*)
1 Tablespoon preserved Meyer Lemon rind finely minced and juice
(or 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice)
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard (optional, does making whisking easier)
salt to taste
1/4 cup canola oil, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 minced garlic clove

Combine egg yolk, lemon juice and rind, vinegar, mustard, and minced garlic clove in medium bowl. Whisk until blended and bright yellow, about 30 seconds.

While whisking constantly, add 1/4 cup canola oil to yolk mixture, a few drops at a time, about 4 minutes. Gradually add 1/2 cup olive oil in very slow thin stream, whisking constantly, until Aioli is thick, about 8 minutes. Cover and chill.

Can be made up to 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.

* To pasteurize an egg, fill a medium saucepan 3/4 with water and bring to 150 degrees using a candy or frothing thermometer to ensure accurate temperature control. Add egg and maintain 150 degrees for 5 minutes. Gently stir water to ensure uniform temperature. When done, cool the egg in cold water. The egg is now safe to eat raw.

Stacy and John Murphy host an instructional, nutritious, and fun hands-on cooking class one or two Saturdays each month using ingredients that come fresh from the San Francisco Farmer’s Market.

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