A year and a half ago, in a post about foods that I am “just not that into,” I wrote:
“Mayonnaise is, hands down, my biggest shiver-inspiring food. The gentle slurping-sucking noise it makes as it pulls away from the side of the jar is all I’d have to think about if I ever decide to be bulimic (not likely). They way it oozes out of other people’s sandwiches and winds up winking at you from the corners of their mouths. The way it always gets on your hands when you stick a knife in the jar to fish it out. I have to stop—I am legitimately making myself queasy.”
Last week, I actually had to excuse myself from the lunch table (pretended to need more napkins) because the girl next to me was squeezing mayo packet after mayo packet onto her sandwich, spreading it around with her finger, then licking off the excess. *Cringe*
Despite my bitter hatred of this creamy white condiment, Tony somehow convinced me to make aioli last night. (It’s those big, blue eyes…they get me every time.)
It was late and I was grumpy and hungry. I wanted a yummy grass-fed hamburger and Tony wanted corn, bean, and cabbage tacos. Little Miss Grumpy won the meat war, but Tony insisted we make patatas bravas (potatoes shallow-fried in olive oil) with homemade aioli to accompany the burgers.
So, while Tony was making the burgers, scrubbing and cutting the potatoes and crisping them in olive oil, I set about whipping up the aioli which—don’t be fooled—is just a fancy word for mayo with garlic in it.
I started by crushing two cloves of garlic in a mortar and pestle; then I added some salt and a splash of lemon juice and mashed it all together. Next, I added good olive oil—little by little—and continued to mix it in the mortar. Near the end, I added a few drops of water to achieve a nice consistency: not to stiff and not too saucy.
When the aioli was finished, I found myself staring down at a beautiful, bright, creamy, pale yellow-green condiment. I was nervous, but intrigued. This recipe had no egg and no weird emulsifiers, just simple ingredients that I love on their own. So, what was not to like? When the potatoes came out of the oil perfectly hot, fresh, and crisp, I gingerly plucked one from the plate and dipped it in my creation. It was…AMAZING! The aioli was fresh and rich, smooth and zippy, and so delicious it seems unfair to other condiments. I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on homemade mayo this long.
Now, don’t get too carried away, I still hate commercial mayo, and I am not about to slather my food in the homemade stuff either. But a thin layer of this aioli on a burger or a few teaspoons of it for my French fries? Yes, please!
Although I adore mayonnaise of any kind, the thought of French fries and mayonnaise grossed me out until a few days ago when I made your Patatas Bravas with Zippy Aioli.
OK, so there was no one to share them with and it was all I had for dinner, but I confess to eating the entire plate of potatoes all by myself, dipping each one in that divine garlicky oil concoction.
I can still remember the taste… what a happy thought.
Bob M says
Grins! Yupper’s! One step at a time! Glad you enjoyed it!
Cute post! I can’t believe the girl next to you with the mayo packed grossed you out so much! That’s a serious aversion! Good thing Mr. Tony is easing you through this 🙂
You’re weird. I would be the girl across from you with the mayo packets 🙂 But this aioli looks awesome too!
That sounds delicious, but is it mayonnaise without egg?
were we separated at birth? I also hate mayo, for all the same reasons plus the taste and slimy feel in the mouth! Except for homemade mayo~it’s the best!
Your vivid story of the mayo packet incident had me gagging. I HATE mayo! I had the same question as Sally – is it even considered mayonnaise without the egg?
You know I feel the same way about mayo, hated the stuff. Wouldn’t go near it. But then I made the exact same aioli and it completely turned it around for me. Now I always have a jar of mayo to make aioli with. I like using it for artichokes and with fish sticks.
Definitely an amazing transformation.
I used to hate mayo! But once I had it with picked jalapeño added to it (sorta aioli), I never turned back 🙂
Love this post Sharon! I, like you, despise mayonnaise and gag at the sight, sound, and smell of it but I love flavored aiolis! If you ever are in NYC go to Pommes Frites and try one of their amazing dipping sauces for your frites. I highly recommend the spicy mango!
Teresa Anderson says
I sort of agree with you .I do like mayo, homemade more then commercial. But I don’t like it in big gobs on my food. That I think is nasty.
Just a little so it adds a tiny bit of zip to things is the way I go.
Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies says
Oh Shaz, I love that mayo grosses you out, and yet you ate my chocolate mayo cake without (well almost without) flinching. And I love that you ate this aioli. That Tony of yours definitely does have beautiful blue eyes, so I can see how easily you were coerced. He’s such a keeper.
Homemade mayo is miles better than the commercial junk! The smell grosses me out though, either way. Your dinner sounds delicious though!
I make my own mayo regularly, and it’s so different from the jared stuff. Once I ran out of lemons and tried using grapefruit juice. Wow! Opened up a new world.
Marillyn D says
Love it!! I yearn for patatas bravas with the aioli. I found great offerings at Cafe Ba Ba Riba in Chicago and Jaleo in Washington,DC. Several orders always show up at my Tapas Table. Congratulations on beginning your journey through the mayo world. You and Miss J need to try home made mayonnasie. It IS really different!
I cannot eat french fries WITHOUT mayo…it’s a weakness. Add garlic and I’m DONE!
Patty G says
Wow. How can I not make homemade mayo after reading this,plus trying Katherine’s “discovery” of using grapefruit juice. Just wondering if EVOO is best for this or is a more mild flavor best? I only keep EVOO so I guess I’ll try using that first. Thanks Sharon, for sharing, for the recipe, and for the humor!