Monday, 17 November 2014

Le Grand Aioli for I heart cooking clubs


This week's I Heart Cooking Clubs theme is particularly dear to my heart - "Sweet cloves and liquid gold"; the heaven of garlic and olive oil. We eat a lot of garlic. It is extremely unusual for us to cook a meal without garlic featuring and we are both mystified by religions that limit the eating of garlic.
Aioli - egg yolks, garlic and good olive oil. I haven't tweaked the colour. 
I immediately knew what I wanted to make. Aioli. What could be a more perfect expression of the theme? AND it is noteworthy because about 10 years ago I made an aioli which we declared inedibly garlicky - the only time that has ever been said in our house.
Fat cod fillets curing in salt
In Salt Sugar Smoke, Diana Henry gives a recipe for the traditional Proven├žal Grand Aioli to accompany her home-salted cod. Le Grand Aioli is a funny dish, a simple collation of salt cod, eggs and steamed vegetables lifted from extreme austerity by lavish quantities of the garlicky sauce.

Because I was only making it for two people, I reduced the number and variety of vegetables, using just cauliflower and tenderstem broccoli with the potatoes and fish. I also added some quail eggs for something a little more luxurious. Unfortunately I forgot to take the fish out of the salt and put it to soak far enough in advance, so it was a bit too salty, but the luscious garlicky-but-not-too-garlicky mayonnaise was divine with the vegetables and quail eggs.

Oddly, though, the court bouillon I poached the fish in was not overly salty, so I strained it and used it the following day to cook lamb shanks in, which worked extremely well. And the rest of the aioli itself made a wonderful lunch, smeared thickly on toasted rye sourdough and served with broccoli, simply dressed with balsamic vinegar and capers.

12 comments:

Pam said...

We eat a lot of liquid gold here and this aioli sounds great. Can't imagine too much garlic. :-)

Zosia said...

Your aioli is gorgeous and sounds like the perfect accompaniment to simply cooked fish and vegetables.

Joyce Rachel Lee-Bates said...

Lovely combination. This must be very delicious. :)

Taste of Beirut said...

We use garlic and olive oil all the time in Lebanese cooking, it is absolutely necessary!! This aioli looks great. I'm cooking fish for lunch, so I will try this with it!

Deb in Hawaii said...

Your description of the "luscious garlicky-but-not-too-garlicky mayonnaise" makes my mouth water. Bring on the garlic! ;-)

grace said...

some people limit garlic intake? absurd! it's so good for you too.

Alicia Foodycat said...

Pam - believe me, we were completely shocked when it was too garlicky!

Zosia - isn't it a stunning colour? They were very orange eggyolks!

Joumana - vital for health and happiness, I think. Lebanese cuisine is so delicious!

Deb - as long as everyone has a bite, nobody minds!

Grace - the Jains and Hare Krishnas don't eat garlic or onions. Apparently they inflame the passions or something?

kitchen flavours said...

Such a delicious dish! We love garlic. And the colour of your aioli is just fabulous!

ostwestwind said...

What a lovely and colourful dish!

Kim said...

My family also loves garlic, so much so that I add garlic to everything! It just brings out the flavor in everything:) I want to try my hand at aioli. Such a creamy and flavorful dip/condiment for veggies, fish, chicken and/or beef. Spread it on a sandwich....use it on everything. LOL! Delicious!

Couscous & Consciousness said...

I adore aioli - it is just like heaven in a bowl - simply can't imagine an aioli that is inedibly garlicky.

I've got this recipe bookmarked to try - it's perfect for this time of year, and I've always wanted to try home salted cod, as salt cod is not something you can get here.

Cuisine de Provence said...

Aioli is the signature dish of Provence and usually eaten on Friday - pungent and delicious. Your aioli looks especially good!

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