The last time I had aioli was at a great place in the U District named Varlamos. They served it up alongside some of the best calamari I’ve ever had the honor to put in my mouth. And that calamari was beautiful, but the aioli…¡ay, caramba! It was like nothing, I tell you, nothing I’d ever put in my mouth before. It was beautiful. Creamy, garlicky (has anyone noticed how often I put those two adjectives together? It’s because they work!) and just pungent enough to tickle your taste buds; it was gorgeous.
As I said, tonight is going to be my first romp with stuffed sole. I wanted it to be good, so I got cocky with it and decided to add “with aioli” to the end of my title. Ohhhh yeahhhh. So, I set out to make aioli.
Let me tell you: the first batch was sad. It broke, there was oil everywhere. I got oil everywhere, pheasants. Even on the walls. My second attempt was better. It came out thick and creamy, like souped-up mayonnaise. I don’t even like mayo, and this was amazing. Now, I did also make a Skinny Pheasant aioli that’s quite nice (much whiter, and has approximately a third the calories of the Pheasant aioli.) It’s good, too, but when you want something really special…go with the Pheasant aioli, okay?
1 egg yolk
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/3 c. oil (I used a garlic and olive mix, but you can do any kind you like)
cayenne pepper to taste
So, you’ll want to start out by mincing that garlic up fine, and I mean fine. We don’t want any huge clumps of garlic making an entrance into your beautiful, sleek aioli. Then, sprinkle a little salt over the minced garlic and, turning your knife on its broad side, press it down and bring it back across the garlic. Do this a few times, making sure to scrape up the garlic and pile it back up again after each press. It should begin to work itself into a chunky paste.
Once that’s done, take a mixing bowl and put your egg yolk into it, along with the garlic. Whisk that until it’s creamy and everything is all mixed together. Now comes the fun part: add a small, small bit of the oil to the egg, and whisk like your life depends on it. It needs to set up into a thick, creamy mayonnaise-like consistency. Once it’s thickened and the oil is all combined, add in another little bit. Keep doing this, whisking like no other after each addition of oil, until the entire 1/3 cup of oil is mixed in. Once it’s set, add the cayenne and correct for salt. The finished product should be yellow (or greenish, if you used a heavy olive oil) and thick like butter or mayo. It will keep in the refrigerator for a long time, so enjoy it!
Servings: 8 ~ Calories: 133 ~ Fat: 14.5g ~Protein: .5g ~ Sodium: 31mg
And, for those of you who want the lower-calorie version:
Skinny Pheasant Aioli
1 garlic clove
1/8 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp mayonnaise
1 1/2 tbsp reduced fat sour cream
cayenne pepper to taste
You’re going to do with the garlic clove the same as you do in the regular Pheasant Aioli, working it down into a paste after mincing it. Once that’s done, add the mayo, sour cream and cayenne pepper. Mix it up, taste it and correct. Then, let it sit for about half an hour so the flavors can blend.
Servings: 2 ~ Calories: 50 ~ Fat: 5g ~ Carbs: 1.5g ~Protein: .5g ~ Sodium: 46mg
What’s your favorite type of sauce or condiment? Why?