Friday, January 12, 2007

Non-Traditional Aïoli

Adapted from Pedaling Through Provence by Sarah Leah Chase

Makes About 2 Cups

Sarah Leah Chase is not a household name the way Ina Garten is, but she should be. Her books are as good as Ina's, and, like Ina, I have found that any recipe of hers that appeals to me enough to make it does not disappoint. This one is from a small, sweet book, Pedaling Through Provence, which would make a good stocking-stuffer along with its mate, Pedaling through Burgundy, for someone who loves France or as a bon voyage gift for someone heading there on holiday. 

This recipe is non-traditional because it has bread and heavy cream in it, which makes a lush, light aïoli, particularly lovely with salad niçoise and with fish in place of tartar sauce. 

Non-Traditional Aïoli
Adapted from Pedaling Through Provence by Sarah Leah Chase

Makes about 2 cups

1 thick slice day-old French bread, crust removed
¼ cup heavy cream
5 or 6 cloves garlic, minced
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (I like Edmund Fallot)
1 cup vegetable oil
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Sea salt

Tear the crustless bread into coarse pieces, put them into a small bowl, and add the cream. Let it sit for 5 minutes so the cream soaks into the bread. Once the cream is soaked in, using your hands, squeeze out as much liquid as you can.

Put the squeezed bread, garlic, egg yolks, and mustard in a food processor. Process until smooth. Leave the machine running, and pour the oils through the feed tube in a thin, steady stream until a thick emulsion - the consistency of mayonnaise - forms.

Put the contents of the food processor into a bowl, and season to taste with lemon juice and salt. Whisk to mix it together, and refrigerate until ready to serve. The aïoli can be served at room temperature or directly from the fridge.

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