Everyone has their unattainable unicorn. It’s something that seems so magical, so wonderful, so perfect and right that you imagine that it’s impossible to achieve. In an earlier post, I blogged about my first “unicorn”, getting a great picture of osso buco. In the past I’ve only been able to photograph it as a brown blob… until this Beef Osso Buco post.
My second conquered unicorn came a few days after my first… aioli. On my eighth (yes, I failed seven times) attempt I succeeded. That success lead me to attempts numbers nine and ten and then I was making aioli and finding reasons to eat it with every meal!
I found out two secrets. OK, they’re not really true secrets because I’m pretty sure that “making an emulsion” is part of the kindergarten curriculum in France. Well, that’s the first secret: Make a good emulsion. This is the part that I’m not in love with. It takes patience, something that I don’t have a lot of. I wasn’t a stellar Science student at school, so here’s my incredibly unscientific explanation as to why you need a good emulsion. Everyone did experimented with watching how oil and vinegar separate, right? Oil has bonds that have no interest in bonding with most other chemicals/ingredients. Egg yolks have magical super powers that act as the binding agent between oil and other stuff (helloooooo Caesar dressing!!!). Plain yolks don’t work this way… but whisked egg yolks are the things of dreams. Whisk them properly and they’ll do anything for you! Some people whisk by hand, others swear by food processors and others can only imagine using a blender. My tool of choice? An immersion blender and a bit of patience.
This small amount of patience is greatly rewarded with a product that will far surpass anything that you’ve ever purchased from the supermarket! The second secret is that once you’ve got the emulsion part down, you can add pretty much anything you want to flavor the aioli. Dijon. Capers. Vinegar. Lemon. Garlic. Chives. Really, it’s an extensive list. This second part really thrills me because of my love of flexibility.
Lemon Garlic Aioli