Cooking 101 – Aioli FAQ sheet

There are some culinary terms that are new and trendy and the average home cook has no idea what it is and how to make it. Words like ‘cooley’, ‘granita’ or ‘reduction’ are heard regularly on food shows like Masterchef and Next Food Network Star (side note: I absolutely love Masterchef: Australia!!). Not knowing what those terms mean and how to make it can intimidate the home cook. One word that is heard all over the culinary world today is aioli. Used as a dip, a spread, and a sauce, aioli is incredibly versatile.

The origin of aioli is said to have come from Provence, France. Ail means garlic and oli means oil so, at its heart, aioli is a marinade/sauce made traditionally by mixing oil and garlic together with a mortar and pestle.

Like many different foods, aioli as endless varieties and one of the most common is the mixing of egg yolks with the garlic and oil to make a consistency and taste similar to mayonnaise. Below is a recipe for a basic mayo style aioli along with some variations.

Tip: The pressure point in a mayo type aioli is the emulsification of the egg yolk and oil. Slowly add the oil, a little bit at a time, while you whisk or whip the aioli. As it emulsifies you can add more oil and it will continue to get thicker and thicker.

Basic Aioli Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 clove of garlic, smashed
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper

Directions (if using a food processor)

  1. In a food processor pulse the garlic clove and egg yolk for a couple minutes so that it looks like a paste.
  2. While the food processor is on a medium high speed slowly add the oil through the top hole. As the oil is poured in as a thin stream the aioli will thicken similar to mayonnaise.
  3. After the oil has been fully mixed in and the aioli is think add the lemon juice, salt and pepper at a medium speed.
  4. Use on burgers, fries, seafood, chicken, etc. Keep in the fridge for no more than 4-5 days.

Directions (if using a mortar and pestle)

  1. In a mortar and pestle smash the garlic cloves and egg yolk for a couple minutes until it looks like a paste.
  2. Add a little oil at a time mixing mashing it around. After about 1/4 cup oil has been mixed it transfer it to a larger bowl and using a whisk mix the aioli at a high speed. Continue to slowly add the oil. It should emulsify and get thicker and thicker, looking like mayonnaise.
  3. After the oil has been fully mixed in and the aioli is think add the lemon juice, salt and pepper at a medium speed.
  4. Use on burgers, fries, seafood, chicken, etc. Keep in the fridge for no more than 4-5 days.

 Variations

Chipolte Aioli

Additional ingredients

  • 1/2 lime, juiced – to replace the lemon
  • 1/4 smashed/pureed chipolte peppers

Directions

  1. Make the basic aioli with the lime juice in place of the lemon juice
  2. Add the chipolte peppers to the aioli in the food processor, as the last ingredient. Process at a medium speed until fully combined and the aioli is smooth.

Mandarin Thyme Aioli

Additional ingredients

  • 1 tbsp of mandarin orange juice – to replace lemon juice
  • 1 tsp of mandarin orange zest
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, finely minced OR 1 tsp dried thyme

Directions

  1. Make the basic aioli with the orange juice in place of the lemon juice
  2. Add the orange zest and thyme leaves to the aioli in the food processor, as the last ingredients. Process at a medium speed until fully combined and the aioli is smooth.

Chili Cilantro Aioli

Additional ingredients

  • 1 tbsp of lime juice – to replace lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp of jalapeno or serrano pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, finely minced

Directions

  1. Make the basic aioli with the lime juice in place of the lemon juice
  2. Add the chili pepper and cilantro to the aioli in the food processor, as the last ingredients. Process at a medium speed until fully combined and the aioli is smooth.

Oregano Mustard Aioli

Additional ingredients

  • 2 tbsp of dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, finely minced OR 1 tsp dried oregano

Directions

  1. Make the basic aioli.
  2. Add the mustard and oregano to the aioli in the food processor, as the last ingredients. Process at a medium speed until fully combined and the aioli is smooth.

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Leave a comment and let me know how it turned out. Or, take a picture to share on Instagram and tag me @theblackpeppercorn.

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