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Aioli help...

Every time I've tried to make aioli it comes out...subpar. Not awful, just not restaurant quality (and I'm not even talking fancy restaurants, I'm talking burger joints). It's a little bitter, or not quite garlicky enough, or my forearm falls off before I can enjoy it so I no longer care...

I'm going for it again. I have two lovely large artichokes calling to me, and this time, I'm trying aioli with the help of machines. I have a very large Cuisinart food processor and a Kitchenaid stand mixer. Opinions? Should I press the garlic to a paste first, or chop it in the processor? Should I use the processor for mixing or use the kitchenaid whisk? I want to keep it very simple and basic--olive oil, egg yolk, garlic, salt. No extra spices or flair.

My artichokes and cooking ego need you!

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  1. If I had to use one of the two machines you listed, I'd use the Cuisinart. Personally, I use my stick blender and the tall plastic cup that came with it to make aioli and viniagrettes and things like that.

    1. I'd make a couple of suggestions, and one of my personal tricks for Aoli.

      1. A bit of lemon will, ironically, help remove the bitter taste from the Aoli and sharpen the flavours across the board. Plus lemon and garlic are a lovely flavour pairing.
      2. Grind the garlic to a paste with salt first, the salt will also help remove the bitterness of garlic. Use a little more salt than you think you would need.
      3. Machine-wise, I don't know - I've used a food processor to great success, but I usually make quite small batches (enough for a bowl of fries or something), so I just continue to emulsify in the mortar and pestle I ground the garlic in.
      4. if it's not garliccy enough use more garlic, if you are pulling the bitterness out of it well enough with the salt - then you can get away with more garlic than you would think.
      5. Pay attention to the type of garlic you are using - supermarket white garlic can often just taste unpleasantly bitter, with little you can do about it. Try and track down some nice purple garlic. in Australia, this is called Australian Garlic, I presume that this is not a global custom.

      My other trick is that i always have some garlic confit on hand and use this instead and think it is fabulous! I use a slow cooker to make it about once every two months using the method in this link http://www.oregonlive.com/foodday/ind... .

      1 Reply
      1. re: Samuelinthekitchen

        i've never seen australian garlic in boston -- lucky you. agreed about the garlic confit. if watched carefully, a small amount can be quickly cooked for aioli. a richer flavor, but still good.

        i would definitely use a food processor. the stuff will last awhile and you'll find excuses to finish it off -- delish with fried potatoes, btw or fish stew.

      2. Hi, I'm from Spain, from Catalunya. I suggest you to put one egg (yolk plus white), salt, two or three garlic's cloves (it deppends on how strong you want to be the sauce-. You can also remove the root -a tiny green piece inside the garlic- and then it will be more digestive, and cover it all with olive oil (2 o 3 fingers). Once yo have all in the glass of the mixer (or the robot you have), just mix it until it becomes thick.

        Its very easy, you on ly have to no remove the mixer.

        You can do that with no machine also, buit its more complicated (thus is much beeter flavour and consistency).

        1. You really should use vinegar, lemon or lime juice when making any sauce with raw eggs. It's needed to kill any pathogens that might come from the eggs.

          I've found whole eggs work better when making aioli using a machine, a blender has worked best, food pro would be my second choice.

          Pressing or mashing the garlic to a paste will release more of the oil than chopping or mincing will.

          Split the garlic lengthwise, if it's started to sprout, remove the core before using it, it's bitter.

          This how I make it.

          2 T. vinegar, lemon or lime juice
          2 – 3 garlic cloves, mashed or pressed
          1 whole egg
          ½ to ¾ C. Olive oil
          kosher salt and fresh white pepper to taste

          1. Absolutely use some vinegar, as demented advised.

            Also I use mostly grapeseed oil because I find the flavor of (good) olive oil to be a bit too heavy for aioli.

            2 Replies
            1. re: lucygoosey

              i too have found olive oil too heavy-tasting for a good mayo. i also agree that a combo of roasted and fresh garlic is wise--this is almost generally true, i think, if the dominant taste is to be garlic. it extends the flavor keyboard to include more notes.

              i have beter luck making mayo in my little processor than in my big one one. i'm not sure if there is such a thing as a whip/volume factor--but it sure seems like there is. indeed, if i wanted several cups, i'd do it in small batches instead of one big one. the little fella never fails--perhaps because the oil drizzle feed thru the cover is just right for the volume.

              1. re: lucygoosey

                Goin calls for have grapeseed, half olive oil. I believe that the traditional, Spanish, aioli doesn't have an egg, and uses only olive oil.

              2. Keys to a good aioli (or mayo)

                Have ingredients at room temperature
                Grind the garlic with salt (I then move the ground garlic to a bowl since I hand whip)
                Add the egg and whip until firm (1-2 min by hand)
                Add acid (vinegar, lemon juice) and mix
                SLOWLY add some oil and whip until it begins to grow in volume
                Add am larger quantity oil toward the end
                One egg can hold 1-2+C of oil

                Roasted garlic also works well as a starter. The acid is need to encourage the egg proteins to uncurl and form new bonds around the oil. If the sauce breaks, take another egg, begin again but use the broken sauce in place of the oil.

                1. Thanks for the replies! I got a little impatient and made a big batch before reading everybody, but for anyone with the same questions:

                  1. Cuisinart food processor worked fantastically well, even for grinding down the garlic--it's the first good, thick aioli I've ever produced without breaking it or my muscles.

                  2. Yes, I forgot lemon juice on my original list, but meant to include that and did. However, I didn't add enough. I added more at the end while processing, which improved it greatly, but I was so afraid of breaking the aioli that I used too light a hand.

                  I'll have to try again with green sprouts removed, more lemon, and more salt. It's still a little on the bitter side, but perhaps a lighter oil will help...I'm loving all the suggestions.

                  Thanks so much everyone!

                  1. In Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume 1, Julia Child very clearly says that if you make blender aioli and put the garlic cloves in the blender, the aioli comes out bitter. She says you HAVE to mash the garlic with salt and lemon juice first to get rid of the bitterness, and then add to the egg and olive oil. I have tried it, and it works.

                    1. There's a lot of great advice in this thread from last year: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/541390

                      1. Not to steel the thread, but how long do you store your aioli. I usually use it just once and throw the rest out because of the scare of raw eggs. Despite the effort, I not only love eating fresh aioli, I love making it too.