I was asked by Strongbow to come up with a recipe that would pair well with the flavors in their hard apple cider. When I think of drinking hard ciders, with their warm apple-y bite, I think about hanging out with friends on a winter day in big, bulky sweaters (maybe that's what I'm thinking about right now because it's cold and cloudy here in Northern California). So I wanted to come up with something that would work well for a casual winter get-together.
I love serving French fries when I entertain because... everyone loves French fries. Honestly, do you know anyone who doesn't? But to elevate them, I like to serve them with unique and flavorful dipping sauces. So enter my quick and easy aioli recipe!
I've made aioli a bunch of time before, but in this new recipe I made two important changes. The first was I added apple cider vinegar so it would pair nicely with the Strongbow Apple Gold Hard Cider.
My intention was for both the cider and the aioli to bring a tangy sharpness and strong apple flavor to the mix, but in complementary ways, like two shades of the same color. And it worked! They played off each other beautifully. And adding in some steak fries, with their warmth and salty richness, made for a very satisfying dish.
I loved how this turned out, and I will definitely be serving this this winter. It was delicious and totally totally addictive!
My second change was I used a food processor instead of a mortar and pestle. When I took the ingredients shot above, I wasn't sure I was going to risk it in the food processor, but it actually worked great, and I was able to make the aioli in about five minutes, with no tired hands. This is definitely the way to go.
So check out how I did it...
Quick & Easy Aioli Recipe
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- lemon juice
- 2-3 garlic cloves (medium sized)
Add the garlic cloves, salt, and a couple tablespoons of the olive oil to a food processor. Pulse until the garlic is very finely chopped. If the garlic starts to accumulate on the side of the food processor, use a spatula to push it down.
Add the egg yolks and pulse until completely integrated. Add the remaining oil, about a tablespoon at a time. Pulse after each addition, until that oil is completely mixed in.
Once you've pulsed in all the olive oil, and have a nice light creamy texture, add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, and pulse until completely integrated. Repeat with one more teaspoon of vinegar, then one teaspoon of lemon juice.
Aioli is best when served fresh, but you can cover and refrigerate and use the next day.
Aioli is one of those great multi-purpose condiments, and I tend to prefer it to mayonnaise because of it's complexity. In addition to French fries, I like to eat it with Brussels sprouts and artichokes, and definitely on turkey sandwiches. It just makes everything taste better!
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Strongbow. The opinions expressed herein are all mine and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Strongbow.