If there is one sauce that can help you sail through summer lunches and patio dinners, it's aioli. If you've never made it, you'll be relieved by how easy it is -- get out your whisk and you're half way there.
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The following are two versions. The Old Bay Aioli is handy for all fish and shellfish -- i.e. grilled fish, fried calamari, and boiled crab. You can also serve the Preserved Lemon Aioli with any seafood; otherwise, whip up some to go with grilled lamb chops, a burger, roasted vegetables, or a chicken salad. And if you want a plain aioli, then just leave out the preserved lemon in the Preserved Lemon Aioli recipe, and you'll be all set.
Before you get started, here are my Aioli Cardinal Rules:
• Let your egg come to room temperature.
• Find a friend/spouse/child to pour in the oil as you whisk.
• Don't wimp out on the whisking: count it as exercise!
• If your aioli breaks, stop what you're doing. Start a new aioli and whisk the broken aioli into it.
• I mix canola and olive oil because I find all-olive-oil aioli overpowering.
• Always taste aioli at the end and adjust the acid and salt.
• If your aioli is too thick, add a little water to thin it. If it's too thin, you're stuck with it but it will still taste great!
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).
Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.