November 26, 2009
Aioli And The Child In Me
I just managed to catch the film "Julie and Julia" before it ceased showing. I went with my daughter Nicole. It was a great bonding movie for us both as there was much to relate to in this movie. My dear friend Gayle sent me an email saying she thought of me the whole way through the movie. Really Gayle, the whole way. Wow that is saying something.
My daughter's best friend, Pip, saw me later that day and said "Julia reminded me so much of you. You even look the same." And, yes, we do. I am rather tall with a mop of curly hair that I have been trying to tame my whole life. It's a battle I have lost and I am now resigned to allowing the waves to go wherever the hell they like. The funny thing is, now I don't seem to mind too much. Sometimes, shock horror, I even like the way they choose to flick out or over or under. Sticking straight up is still not on, so the odd pot of hair jel has to come to the rescue sometimes.
I actually did not know very much about Julia Child, (forgive me please I'm Australian), however I had heard about her and I'd read some of her many famous quotes. I think I even used a couple in one of my cooking classes a few years ago.
I adore Meryl Streep. Strangely enough, so does Nicole and Pip, which is really saying something for a couple of sweet and sexy 19 year olds. They also absolutely love and adore Audrey Hepburn, but now I am really getting off the track.
Meryl Streep who played Francesca in 'Bridges of Madison County' absolutely touched me to the core. Her performance in that movie and indeed her character, has made this my all time favourite movie. So yeah, I like Meryl. Her portrayal of Julia was incredible. I actually found myself relating a little more to Julia than I care to admit. I felt the boredom of 'what to do' with my life. I felt the excitement of creating a recipe and seeing the wonderful expressions of gratitude and satisfaction ooze from the faces of those I love. I felt the hard work involved in pursuit of a dream, a mission, a goal.
I adored her "secrecy" and the guarding of her recipes. Oh how I laughed. I've well and truly been there. Infact I have been down right mean in not giving away some of my 'famous' recipes which I now have no trouble in posting about so that all the world can see. Are you out there world? My Danish Pastries really are the bomb! Sorry to all you ladies who begged for that recipe. Gosh I was mean. Gee "gosh" was another word Julia used rather often. Hmm.
But apart from Julia and the wonderful Meryl, I also loved the story of Julie. Anyone who is a food blogger would surely understand. This movie was made for us.
In recognition of Julia's thorough and comprehensive recipes, I have enclosed my recipe for aioli which I have attempted to explain in detail. There really is a knack to making a "mayonnaise" and so many recipe books have let me down in the past. Sure you can bung it all in the food processor but this is one of those recipes where "handmade with love" makes all the difference. If you have any questions, make sure you ask me so I can hopefully clarify. Julia would have loved that.
(For best results ensure all ingredients are at room temperature)
1 egg yolk
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 or 2 teaspoons lemon juice
100 ml pure olive oil
100 ml light olive oil
1 large or 2 small cloves garlic
Fine sea salt & cracked pepper
• Smash garlic with some salt in a mortar & pestle; set aside.
• Pour oils together in a pouring bottle with a fine nozzle.
• Warm a bowl by placing hot water in it for a few minutes. Dry quickly. Sit over another bowl with some hottish water in it, a little like using a double boiler. By doing this I find I eliminate that "raw" egg taste that can sometimes dominate. My aioli may appear rather 'yellow' because my egg yolk is almost orange. Remember I have very healthy free range chooks and they reward me with bright eggs. Also the dijon mustard is brownish in colour and also contributes to a more 'coloured' aioli.
• Put yolk, mustard & juice in warm bowl; begin to whisk immediately.
• Add droplets of oil & thoroughly whisk till ½ of the oil has been used.
• Continue whisking in oil, now in a thin but steady stream until it has all been incorporated.
• Add garlic, season further with salt & pepper to taste. I added half a teaspoon of castor sugar. If you choose to do this, whisk well till the sugar is dissolved.
• If you prefer your aioli to have a thinner consistency, add a spoonful of warm water at the end. I do.
• Aioli is perfect to eat with carrots, asparagus, zucchini, celery, snowpeas, crudités.
• Pat dry dipping vegetables that are moist such as cucumber & tomatoes or the aioli will slip straight off when dipping.
1. This recipe may take 15min to prepare. Get ready to sweat a little!
2. Some countries like Spain use extra virgin olive oil, however I find it is too strong and overpowering. For me an aioli should be tangy but subtle without that dominating “olive” taste.
3. You may use 100% light olive oil if desired. I often do.
4. For added variety try an aioli with vinegar instead of lemon juice, more or less garlic, 1 or 2 tbsp shredded basil or chopped continental parsley.
Aioli keeps well sealed in jar in the fridge for up to 7 days.
I was really pleased with my aioli; the balance of flavours was perfect for me. It worked really well with my salad leaves, red onion, smoked salmon and squeeze of lime juice. Hmmm. Really, really nice and really, really 'real'.
Have a go. It's all Child's play.