Saturday, January 17, 2015

Aioli ... aka Homemade Mayo

Aioli (eye-o-li) could be described as the fancy name for mayo. That is the word most often see on menus, never "mayo" or "mayonnaise". And actually traditional aioli is made with a mortar and pestle, to grind the garlic cloves into a paste first, and uses olive oil, never canola.  With a food processor though, making aioli or mayo yourself is so easy and so much better than anything you would get a the store that you wont want to go back. You will be much happier with the far smaller list of ingredients as well.  When made from scratch, the flavor is so much more alive and interesting than store bought mayo. Your sandwiches and everything else will end up tasting better.

With this base aioli, you can create any flavor you want by adding fresh herbs and spices, or some roasted red bell pepper or sundried tomatoes. A recipe for chipotle aioli is below which goes great with burgers and fish tacos.

Homemade Mayo or "Aioli"
Makes 2 cups


3 large egg yolks
1 small garlic clove
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
1 cup grapeseed or canola oil
1/2 cup light olive oil


Place egg yolk, garlic, lemon juice, mustard and salt in the food processor. Turn on and let run until garlic is broken up, about 15 seconds.

The key to a good emulsion is to start very slow. Most food processors have a hole in the round insert for the processor lid. This is to help create a slow, small stream of oil, when you pour the oil through this part of the lid. 

Turn on the processor and begin pouring in 1 to 3 tablespoons at a time of oil through the hole in the lid, until you can see the mixture begin to gel, or bind together. Take your time here. If the emulsification doesnt happen at the beginning, the mixture will just be runny no matter how much you run the processor.  Once you see the "mayo" forming, go ahead and pour the oil in a little faster. The hole will keep the oil flowing in a steady stream. 

My aioli tends to emulsify so well that the mixture is super thick half way through adding the oil. I then stop the oil and add a little warm water, about 2 to 3 tablespoons, and turn on the processor again. The aioli then thins a bit and looks like the consistency of regular mayo. Once all the oil is in, taste the aioli and see if you want to add any more lemon or salt. 

Store in a glass jar or airtight container in the refrigerator.

How to Make Chipotle Aioli


1 cup aioli
1/2 Chipotle in Adobo Sauce - look for a brand without wheat flour, found in the mexican food section of the grocery store
1/2 tsp smoked paprika powder
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp lime juice (about 1 lime)


Place all ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth. Taste and add more chipotle pepper in you like it hotter. I start with a half pepper and then add more depending on how hot they are. 

This goes great with sweet potato fries, tilapia tacos, burgers and pulled pork sandwiches. I am sure there is a lot more it could be served with too, let me know what you think. 

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