In today's overscheduled world, recipes that are both quick and uncomplicated are the ones home cooks clamor for, and as a result we've lost touch with made-from-scratch sauces.
The irony is that many of these sauces are both fast and easy to assemble.
One such sauce is mayonnaise, a simple and delicious preparation that takes only minutes to produce.
Homemade mayonnaise, an emulsified sauce made with eggs, oil, lemon juice or vinegar, plus seasonings, is far superior in taste to store bought varieties, which also often contain sweeteners.
It is especially easy to prepare in a food processor, but it can also be produced by hand.
This mayo will keep in the fridge for up to three days, so it's a great make-ahead sauce to use when entertaining.
In the following recipe, I add minced garlic to classic mayo to turn it into aioli, the popular Provencal accompaniment served with fish, meats and vegetables in the south of France.
This garlic-infused sauce is wonderful atop grilled pepper-coated flank steaks.
Serve with a golden potato gratin layered with bechamel sauce (another simple and quick prep) and a romaine salad tossed in vinaigrette (the easiest of all sauces).
Perfect for a cookout!
Pepper-Coated Flank Steaks with Aioli Recipe
- 3 medium cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large egg yolks plus 1 large whole egg (see note)
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Generous pinch of cayenne pepper
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 3/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
- Two 1 1/2 pound flank steaks, trimmed of excess fat, 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick
- 4 teaspoons coarsely crushed black peppercorns
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Olive or vegetable oil for greasing grill rack
- 4 teaspoons chopped flat leaf parsley
For aioli, mash garlic and salt together in a small bowl so that it resembles a coarse paste.
Place egg yolks, whole egg, lemon juice and cayenne in the bowl of a food processor.
Process several seconds until all the ingredients are well blended.
Combine the oils in a measuring cup with a spout.
With processor running, slowly add oil in a very thin stream through the feed tube (there should be a small hole in the bottom that will dispense the oil in a thin stream) until all oil has been added and mixture is thick and smooth (see note).
Add garlic and puree several seconds.
Place mayonnaise in a nonreactive serving bowl. (Mayonnaise can be prepared three days ahead; keep covered and refrigerated.)
Makes 2 cups.
For steaks, pat dry with paper towels.
Mix together pepper, dried thyme and salt in a small bowl, then rub mixture on each side of the two steaks.
Oil a grill rack and arrange it 4 to 5 inches from heat source.
Prepare grill for a hot fire (high temperature). When hot, grill steaks 6 to 7 minutes per side or until steaks are medium rare when pierced with a knife. Cooking time can vary depending on type of grill and intensity of heat.
When done, remove meat to a chopping board to rest 5 minutes.
Then cut steaks on the diagonal against the grain into1/4 inch thick slices.
Sprinkle steak slices with parsley and serve with dollops of aioli.
There are uncooked eggs in this recipe. Food safety experts caution that consuming raw eggs can expose you to salmonella contamination. Immuno-compromised patients, the very young, and the elderly should not eat raw eggs.
For handmade mayonnaise, rinse a mixing bowl with hot water and dry. Add 3 yolks (instead of 2 and 1 whole egg), lemon juice and cayenne. Very slowly, whisk in oil a drop or two at a time. After a half-cup, add oil in a very thin stream, then whisk in garlic mixture.
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(c) 2009, Betty Rosbottom. Distributed by Tribune Media Services Inc.
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