MAYONNAISE AND AOLI (food, article, poetry, Omnivore, Luis Osteen)

Thinking about a lot of things as the season begins to wind down and the cold weather says Hello. Today it is mayonnaise. Aioli and mayonnaise is one of the five Mother Sauces and is recognized as “egg sauce”. Yep, humble, proletarian, a food of the country and the city alike. There ain’t a thing wrong with egg sauces. Of course I’m going to tell you why. We will make the classic aioli and a couple of mayonnaise variations. Hollandaise is part of the egg sauce family, but today we are all about mayonnaise and aioli. I am interested in Hellmann’s, Dukes and Kewpie mayonnaise debates. I know I know where’s Miracle Whip, but a line must be drawn…or must it…OK I will include Miracle Whip. No, I can’t include it; it just doesn’t hold a fascination for me.
Mother Sauces? Espagnole (brown/roux thickened), béchamel (cream), tomato, egg (aioli, mayonnaise, hollandaise) and veloute (stock and vinaigrette) are the Five. These are the basis for all Western sauces and soups. Everything we learn as we apprentice to become a chef concentrates on these Five Sauces as the root of all that is delicious. The great Escoffier gave this set to us. It has been adjusted with the times to meet each decade’s culinary needs. His first list was Hollandaise and not egg. But really, can we ignore the variations of the miracle, the egg? Aioli walks the line because it was originally simply an emulsion of roasted garlic and extra virgin olive oil. As time passed and cooks became more adventurous it developed into the aioli we know today. If you are served a sauce aioli and it has no egg then this is the great Roman gift in it’s crudest, purest form, so say “thank you” to your server and enjoy.
Roasted garlic is not difficult. Take five cloves of garlic and place them on a sheet of aluminum foil. Rub the cloves with extra virgin olive oil. Roll the foil over the garlic and pinch the edges of the foil into a tight cylinder shape. Put this in on a baking pan and cook at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let it cool. Unroll the foil and there you have it, roasted garlic.
Eggs that are beaten at room temperature will whip more easily than eggs taken directly from the refrigerator. Temperature is important to both egg white meringues and for egg sauces. Denaturing is done by the addition of the vinegar and the whipping itself, which raises the temperature of the eggs. Denaturing is a kind of cooking without heat, we see thin when making ceviche and poke (Hawaiian style ceviche) where the vinegar changes the composition of the protein to a status the same as having been cooked to high degrees. So, a room temperature egg will give you a fluffier and better bonding mayonnaise/aioli and a lighter meringue (we are not making meringues today).
Also, fresh eggs matter. The fresher the egg the quicker it forms a sauce or foam/meringue. Since eggs act as a colloid here we can really have fun in understanding all of the miracles that exist in/from eggs. This means that the egg both bonds like glue AND becomes a part of the oil and garlic by becoming a part of it, which in turn gives us a unified sauce. The sauce aioli is a thing unto itself at this point. All colloids have this ability, like cornstarch, flour roux, tapioca and corn variations like maltodextrose and methocel; these are natural components to many food substances in our lives today. From the capsules that contain pharmaceuticals for your health, dental bonding agents, the yeast that makes your bread and the things that make a sauce or ice cream hold together are glutinous/glue like/bonding agents that become what is added to them or they are added to. Hydrocolloids make gels and this is done with various agents such as gelatin, agar agar, maltodextrose, gum Arabic, guar and xanthium. All natural substances, gum Arabic, guar and anthem are basically bushes. Eggs can also be used as gelling agents if you think about the way that crème brulee and custards react when baked. Cool stuff to know!
So even what appears simple is the result of a complex combination of diverse particles. We give you the aioli, in all its simple glory:
Add the oil in a steady, thin stream so that the ingredients incorporate without breaking or becoming too thick. If you add it too slowly then it will become too thick. Add a teaspoon of water to thin. You can eventually use any kind of vinegar you like in order to have the aioli match the meal. But first, you must learn the basics.
In the beginning was roasted olive oil and olive oil. They were crushed together into a paste. And that was how it wall began until some enterprising cook beat an egg into that lava rock mortar and pestle and found that the ingredients bonded and rose into a smooth, long lasting flavor and that flavor is what makes aioli and mayonnaise such popular sauces.
5 egg yolks
5 cloves roasted garlic
½ teaspoon lemon juice
1/2-cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup corn oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2-teaspoon salt
Put egg yolk and garlic in food processor and turn it on. While it is running slowly pour in the oils, then the vinegar and then the salt and sauce. Once it has emulsified (blended to soft peaks) turn off the machine. This is a basic aioli. Now you that you have this under your belt you will learn to make variations on the theme of the egg.
Basic aioli is good to have in your cooking arsenal because at any time you find yourself wanting a fresh approach to seafood and chicken dishes.
Pesto aioli is very good with roasted meats, turkey and pork dishes as well as any number of vegetable dishes.
10 leaves fresh basil
4 tablespoons fresh parmesan, grated
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
10 cloves roasted garlic
4 tablespoons pine nuts (they are expensive so you can use almonds, sunflower seeds, cashews or hazelnuts instead of pine nuts if you want to)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Blend in food processor until it is chunky. Then add the basic aioli.
2 cups basic aioli
After blending the pesto to a coarse texture add the basic aioli and blend again until it is smooth. Do not over blend or it will become a paste!
This is too easy, isn’t it? Well, this is why egg sauces are so popular. You can make anything you want from them. This pesto aioli is incredible with grilled steaks, artichoke hearts, vegetable dips and roasts.

4 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon molasses
5 cloves roasted garlic
1 cup basic aioli
Add the honey and molasses at the end of the mixing process. This is very good with grilled chicken. To turn this into crazy good seafood aioli then adds a teaspoon of wasabi paste to the mix.
These are a few basic ways of building on an aioli. Once y0u start making aioli you will find yourself and your family craving it more and more. There are ways to take it a step further into the way of the North European, American and Pan Asian.
So here we are at that great white sauce that people are all over the place in their likes, dislikes, favorites and alternative favorites. As far as I am concerned we should just throw them all away except for home made, Hellman’s, Dukes, Kewpie and Kraft. Kraft because they are almost Hellman’s, at least they want it to be. Dieters all over the nation enjoy Miracle Whip but that is made more with egg white than egg yolk and we are here to praise the yolk.
Dukes has the most sugar and mustard, Hellman’s is what it is by way of extra egg yolk, longer whip time, garlic and onion starch, and lastly Kewpie, the Hawaiian delight, Kewpie has no mustard, and does have the most lemon of them all. I like each 0ne for it’s own purpose and do have them in my refrigerator at home. We don’t have to restrict ourselves from the varieties available. Enjoy each one.
Grilled mahi-mahi with Hellman’s mayonnaise brushed on it for the last turn gives us one of the best tasting reasons for why this is a delicious fish. Seriously, fish grilled with mayonnaise painted on is a West Coast, Island and Pan Asian thing and when first had it I laughed, but then when I ate it I laughed some more but with pleasure not sarcasm.
Dukes make the best potato salad for all Southern cooks. Boil the potatoes then cut them into the chunks for potato salad when they have just cooled. This keeps the flavor in the potato and not in the boiling water. They also are easier to chop when cool and the knife does not stick as much to the potato.
Kewpie is the partner to that famous and decadent lunchtime powerhouse of a meal, spam and eggs with mayonnaise. Sear the spam in an iron skillet with onions and peppers. Fry an egg in the pan with the Spam. Drain the fat and place the Spam and egg on a plate. Brush the Spam with Kewpie. The lemon in the mayonnaise makes it feel like you are really eating the rich and strange meal that you just ate. When I was cooking this to try it out I felt all kinds of fun guilt. Then I remembered those sizzling little hot circles of late night sandwiches, the fried bologna sandwich on white bread with yellow cheese and Dukes. What is good for the East is good for the South and vice versa. I use Kewpie a lot. I like it blended with other things and it does make for very brightly flavored hunger inducing tarter sauce. Try mixing it with peaches and spicy mustard and see what happens.
5 egg yolks
3 egg whites, lightly whipped so that they turn white no peaks.
2 cloves garlic, not roasted
1 cup extra virgin olive oil, prefer Spanish, fruity
½ cup corn oil
½ cup Sweet rice vinegar, like Mirin
2 tablespoons lemons, the juice
1 teaspoon Coleman’s powdered mustard
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon soda water
½ teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon white sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon white pepper
In your food processor: egg yolks and garlic. Slowly add half the olive oil, and then add the dry ingredients followed by the vinegar. Keep blending; add the corn oil and then the olive oil. Add the Worcestershire and water. Keep blending. Add the egg whites and blend. Blend it until it is white and smooth.
Now that you have made your own mayonnaise you need to make the biggest most decadent sandwich that you can imagine. Put it all on there from pickles and olives to havarti and American cheese, ham, salami, smoked turkey, sliced tomato, roasted peppers and lettuce, then the mayonnaise and then shut the doors and have a blast with your own designer egg sauce.

I don’t know why it is,
I like to have your attention,
I roll stones in the dirt and skip them
Across the waters.
Looking over the lakes,
Walking beside the horse by the woods,
I see your smile,
A funny, heheheh laugh.
You lean next a banana tree
And the soft colors of your skin shine
With the embers of the sun
Your smile
Your eyes
Your elegant small fingers holding
The day in your palm
And I wish I were that day,
That light in your eyes
I wish that I could always stand
As the one you see
As the man across the waters
In the lane walking
Walking towards you
To hold you
To brush back your deep black hair
And with a hand to your cheeks
To your own hand and heart
I am always trying to get your attention
Because I see you fully
I see the happiness,
The humor,
The thrill of being alive
Of round and round
And back again to this day
To you
To me
To you and I

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