How many recipes are out there for aioli? Hundreds. Thousands. Probably millions. And the one thing I’ve seen in almost all of the recipes, no matter the source, is that you have to do things very precisely or your aioli will not come together. Something about mixing it too long or something, I don’t know… But, I can tell you this - I have tried to make aioli in the past, and it did not come together no matter how long I pureed it in the stinkin’ blender. And I actually did follow the instructions, to the letter, that time! :-)
It wasn’t until I started working at my new job, Fetaz Bistro, that I learned the real secret to making aioli. Now, mind you, this is not the exact recipe for how they make theirs, and I will not divulge that information, but I think the technique is important to know. If you want to try all of the different aioli concoctions at Fetaz, you're just gonna have to stop there whenever you're in the Green Bay area! First of all, contrary to what other recipes state, don’t add anything to the eggs at the beginning of the process. I don’t know if the garlic reacts with the eggs or whatever, but I remember pureeing the crap out of my previous aioli attempt (where I was told to add the garlic, salt, and pepper to the eggs) to no avail. But, somehow, when you start out with just the eggs and oil, it comes together perfectly every time. You really only mix the eggs for a few seconds before starting to add the oil, but you will immediately be able to see that it’s doing what it’s supposed to be doing. No curdled eggs and oil. No weird grainy egg messes. Just perfectly smooth and creamy aioli. Then, when the mixture has come together, add the rest of the ingredients. This is the part where you can play around with flavors and stuff…
Another thing that's important is that you need to make sure you have plenty of eggs in the blender before starting. If you try making aioli in any normal blender with only one or two eggs, it isn't going to come together like it's supposed to. I don't know exactly what the problem was when I tried to make aioli before, but it just did NOT work. It could be that nearly every recipe only calls for one or two egg yolks... It could be that there was too much going on with the egg yolks and they were rebelling... I don't know. But, I do know that this method has worked every single time I've ever done it.
Now, it is important to remember that an aioli is not a true aioli without garlic. I like using the roasted garlic because it’s not as overpowering as fresh garlic, and it’s so yummy. If you would prefer, feel free to use fresh garlic. But the garlic needs to be in there, however you choose to incorporate it! I may or may not have cheated and bought the already peeled garlic cloves and roasted those (in a small, oven-proof container at 375° with some olive oil, salt, and pepper for an hour or so, until the garlic is a little brown and nice and soft)... ;-)
Now, if you can’t find pasteurized eggs and have an aversion to using raw eggs, you can use the store-bought mayonnaise as a (poor) substitute and get a very similar outcome - one of my friends did this, not knowing what he was actually making, and was more than happy with the results. He’s more chefy than he knew! :-) However, considering that many people eat sunny-side up eggs and raw cookie dough without any adverse effects, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it isn’t going to be any more unsafe to eat the raw eggs in a sauce that you’re merely going to spread on your sandwich. It’s not like you’re going to eat it by the gallon or anything (and I’m sure I’ve eaten at least that much raw cookie dough), so I feel pretty safe eating it. Not to mention, it sure is tasty!
6 egg yolks
2 whole eggs
1⅔ - 2 c. canola oil
1 lemon, juiced
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 heads garlic, roasted
Combine the egg yolks and whole eggs in a blender container, cover, and puree on medium speed just until the eggs are beaten and combined. Remove the cover from the pour spout and slowly drizzle the canola oil into the eggs in a steady stream until the mixture comes together and thickens. Turn the blender off and remove the cover. Pour the freshly squeezed lemon juice into the blender, sprinkle the mixture with salt and pepper, and add the cloves from the roasted garlic. Replace the cover and puree until the garlic is chopped up and everything is thoroughly combined.