Monday, March 24, 2014

How To : Homemade Russian 1,000 Aioli

Homemade Russian 1,000 Aioli

I want to first off by addressing the "name" of my new aioli concoction. Because today, we are focusing on one of the most important parts of any reuben sandwich... well, if not the most important part-- the Russian Dressing vs. Thousand Island Dressing debate. The topic can get quite heated in the culinary world of blogs, magazines, and even amongst chefs. However, I knew from the get-go, that every component had to be top-knotch or homemade in nature. I decided to blend the two together to form a SUPER sauce, packed with extra flavor and making it even more extreme. I mean, face it, "Russian 1,000 Aioli" sounds mechanical, nuclear, or even the highest improvement that can be made. If you didn't know I was a food blogger, you might actually think that I might be talking about sports cars or spaceships or computer technology. HA, good joke. But anyway, our entire family has naturally been on a corned beef kick lately... we made it monday, wednesday, + sunday. And to be honest, I think we're still beggin' for that cut o' meat all over again. Although I was repulsed by the idea of pickled, boiled beef brisket in the past... I have become enamored with it. Cooking partially in boiling water, and then glazing it with a sweet + tangy homemade honey mustard sauce before it heads into the oven to broil, really takes it over the top. I mean, heck, it's made a believer outta me!! I repeated the previous recipe, exactly), but this time I knew I wanted to make over-the-top reuben sandwiches. The rundown for that glorious meal between two buns will be posted on Monay (so check back, ya'hear).  I began with making a basic aioli (a.k.a. homemade mayonnaise using egg yolks and canola oil, amongst other things). I use the food processor for this process, so that the machine keeps moving and whipping the mayo, without allowing it to curdle/separate. You can also do this by hand, but heck, who wants to lose an arm that way? Pardon the sarcasm, you won't lose an arm, but trust me it'll be as sore as the dickens. My aioli starts off quite basic actually... toss in a large egg yolk, a splash of red wine vinegar + freshly squeezed lemon juice, some smashed garlic paste, a dabble of dijon mustard, and a big pinch of salt & sugar. I pulse that mixture up as best as I can until it is as smooth as you can get it (but don't worry, it should become creamier throughout the process). After the painstakingly annoying task of slowly drizzling in the oil (with the processor running on constant speed for its' entire duration), literally one drip at a time, your once liquidy yellow stuff will bloom into a creamy, off-white mayonnaise texture. YAY, you're almost there. Remove this mayo mixture into a mixing bowl to finish it off, completing the transformation it into the soon-to-be-famous Russian 1,000 Aioli. You whisk in the typical cast of characters: ketchup, mustard (or honey mustard, like I used), horseradish, Sriracha, onion  powder, cayenne powder, and add any other needed seasonings. Whisk to combine, so that the ingredients evenly disperse throughout. In my hybrid of the Russian Dressing/Thousand Island Dressing... I love to hand-dice pretty decent chunks of bread + butter pickles. If you prefer a smoother sauce, you could easily substitute relish, but I love the texture and pop of vinegary flavor the pickle chips in the sauce. So, bless your heart, do what you please! This sauce might seem time consuming, but the food processor cuts out majority of the work for you. Just make sure to whisk in the pickle chips at the very in, instead of blending them into a relish. And as for my secret ingredient... freshly ground nutmeg and ground cloves. I know, it might sound odd putting those two pungent flavors into a creamy, classic, americano sauce, but they give the dip the some major sass and elevates it from run-of-the-mill-bottled-dressing to awesome-homemade-aioli. Trust me, it's not just good on reubens, it goes great on the following: BURGERS (ohmahgah, it'll be your new secret sauce for cookout parties, trust me), patty melts, sandwiches, french fries, fried pickles, cobb salads, etc. You catch mah drift. And get yo'self excited because this sauce is featured on the best Reuben Sandwich I've ever made... it'll be posted in a day or so!! Enjoy :)

the makings of the perfect Russian dressing-- aioli style

For the Aioli:
1 Large Egg Yolk
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced into a Paste with Sea Salt
1 Egg Yolk
1t Red Wine Vinegar
2t Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
½t Dijon Mustard & 1T Sugar
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced into a Paste (with a little bit of sea salt)
1C Canola Oil
¼C Ketchup
1T Honey Mustard
1t Prepared Horseradish
½t Salt, White Pepper, & Cayenne
1t Onion Powder
Freshly Grated Nutmeg + Ground Cloves, To Taste
½C Finely Diced Bread n’ Butter Pickles (dice into small cubes/squares)

1. For the Russian 1,000 Aioli: Combine the egg yolk, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, minced garlic, sugar, and ½t salt in medium bowl. Whisk until blended and bright yellow, about 30 seconds. Using ¼t measuring spoon and whisking constantly, add ¼C of the oil to yolk mixture, a few drops at a time, about 4-5 minutes. Gradually add remaining ¾C canola oil in very slow thin stream, whisking constantly, until mayonnaise is thick, about 8-10 minutes (mayonnaise will be lighter in color).
2. Finishing the Aioli: By hand, whisk in the ketchup, honey mustard, horseradish, white pepper, cayenne, onion powder, freshly grated nutmeg, and ground cloves. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar to taste, if needed.
3. Lastly, fold in the small diced pickles until evenly incorporated throughout. Use the sauce right away or store in the refrigerator until you are ready to use!!

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