Monday, May 04, 2009

Jose Andres' Aioli

This recipe is a neat exercise in technique.

From Mark Bittman: "When I joined Jose (Andres) for an early dinner with his friends on a hilltop in the Pyrenees, I expected a relaxing day. Yet as everyone set about the simple task of grilling big coils of butifarra (Catalonian sausages), pig's feet, lamb chops, peppers, and onions, he put me to work on this three-ingredient sauce that took 30 arduous minutes. I was ordered to make it without using a food processor, and, I must say, it was worth it to observe the old-fashioned alchemy of a sauce gradually emulsifying before my eyes. Fortunately, this pungent emulsion (essentially aioli made without egg) can be made in a food processor. Use it sparingly, as it packs a wallop of garlicky flavor."

Ali-i-oli (aioli)

Salt to taste
2 tablespoons minced garlic (roughly chopped if you're using a food processor)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

To make my hand, add a pinch of salt and the garlic to a mortar and steadily pound the garlic with a pestle. Add a few drops of the oil, continue pounding, and repeat until the mixture begins to emulsify. When an emulsion starts to form, you can add the oil a little faster. Continue until the sauce is completely emulsified and at the thickness you like, about 30 minutes.

To make by machine, put the garlic in a blender or a food processor and turn the machine on. While it's running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream. When an emulsion starts to form, you can add it a little faster. It's done when it's full emulsified and at the thickness you like. Salt to taste and serve.

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