Two Aioli and a Lobster Fest

May 23, 2011

Author Notes: This past Saturday was the Pound Ridge Community Church’s annual Lobster Festival. We always get a few of the boiled lobsters, so I figured it was the perfect opportunity to try my hand at from-scratch aioli – I’m usually the cheater using the Hellman’s. The saffron version is adapted from my Special Sauce, here in the food52 archives. For the second version, the idea of combining grapefruit and tarragon has been floating around in my head ever since I read about it in The Flavor Bible…just never knew how to go about it. It turned out to be pretty darn tasty in aioli. Either of these sauces would be great with any kind of seafood or shellfish, or crudité even. If we’d had any leftover lobster, which we didn’t, I would have made a lobster roll with the grapefruit-tarragon aioli, and a little diced celery. When we cook them at home, we usually steam the lobsters.mrslarkin

Serves: 4

Ingredients

For the Saffron-Sriracha Aioli

  • 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice; more to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons water
  • Pinch of saffron threads, about ¼ teaspoon
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Sriracha hot sauce
  • 1 large egg yolk, from a room temperature egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

For the Tarragon-Grapefruit Aioli

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed pink grapefruit juice; more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated grapefruit zest
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 large egg yolk, from a room temperature egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup walnut oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
In This Recipe

Directions

For the Saffron-Sriracha Aioli

  1. Warm the lemon juice and water in the microwave for about 10 seconds. Or just use really hot tap water. Add saffron and let sit for about 10 minutes.
  2. Finely chop the garlic. Sprinkle with salt. Mash to a paste by dragging the side of a chef’s knife across the garlic several times.
  3. Place a heavy medium bowl or 4-cup glass measuring cup on a damp paper towel. It won’t slip this way. Combine all the ingredients except the oils. Whisk together until blended. Slowly drizzle in the oils until emulsified and thickened. Taste carefully for salt, lemon juice and sriracha.
  4. Serve as a dipping sauce for the steamed lobster.

For the Tarragon-Grapefruit Aioli

  1. Finely chop the garlic. Sprinkle with salt. Mash to a paste by dragging the side of a chef’s knife across the garlic several times.
  2. Place a heavy medium bowl or 4-cup glass measuring cup on a damp paper towel. It won’t slip this way. Combine all the ingredients except the oils and tarragon. Whisk together until blended. Slowly drizzle in the oils until emulsified and thickened. Taste carefully and adjust for salt and grapefruit juice. Stir in the tarragon.
  3. Serve as a dipping sauce for the steamed lobster.
  4. Adapted from the cookbook Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom: For four 1¼ pound lobsters, fill a very large pot with about two inches of water. Add two teaspoons of salt. Bring to a rapid boil over high heat. Tell the lobsters thank you for being your dinner and quickly place them in the pot. Put the lid on and when you see steam rising, cook for 15 minutes. Lobsters will be bright red when done. Remove from pot and serve with the aiolis and/or melted butter and some lemon wedges. Don't forget your bib.

More Great Recipes:
Condiment/Spread|Grapefruit|Lemon Juice|Lobster|Saffron|Tarragon|Vegetarian|Gluten-Free

Reviews (24) Questions (1)

24 Reviews

checker July 7, 2011
OK, so this is pretty much perfect as it is, but I have to ask anyway – have you tinkered with either of these as a marinade? The Tarragon-Grapefruit combo sounds so refreshing and I was thinking that a marinade for chicken or shrimp might be fantastic. Thoughts?
 
Author Comment
mrslarkin July 8, 2011
I haven't tinkered, but i like the marinade idea. Do let me know if you try.
 
checker July 28, 2011
So I used the Tarragon-Grapefruit combo as a marinade for some grilled shrimp. Super, super good. In fact, I made it on Friday and again on Sunday. I'll get the recipe up here soon, and I'll let you know as soon as I do - your idea and your credit! Thanks!
 
Author Comment
mrslarkin July 28, 2011
Yay!! keep me posted!!! So glad I actually inspired YOU, since your recipes are so fantastic!! :)
 
Kitchen B. May 24, 2011
Oh my my my!!!!! First of all I've only ever had lobster in restaurants and have bemoaned a lack of 'understanding' for the hype of this crustacean. I figure that cooking it myself might be the answer. Now I have a dazzling set of aioli recipes to accompany it. Thank you MrsL!
 
Author Comment
mrslarkin May 24, 2011
Thanks so much, KB! Let me know if you try it!
 
Kitchen B. June 19, 2011
So officially, I have been inducted into the lobster club. Today I cooked the aforementioned and made a roasted lobster mayo (infusing grapeseed oil with roasted and crushed lobster shells). I had1/2 the mayo as is and the other half became your Saffron-Sriracha aioli. I love the layer of heat and the balance (from the sugar). Thank you!
 
Author Comment
mrslarkin June 19, 2011
Wow! Yum!! You are very welcome, KB!
 
hardlikearmour May 24, 2011
Oh my, mrslarkin! Both of these sound delicious, but I think I'm partial to the grapefruit-tarragon.
 
Author Comment
mrslarkin May 24, 2011
Thanks hla!
 
wssmom May 24, 2011
How can lobster get more wonderful?? RIGHT HERE!! Amazing!
 
Author Comment
mrslarkin May 24, 2011
:) thanks wssmom!
 
gingerroot May 24, 2011
Both of these combinations sound amazing!! And with lobster to boot - holy maioli! (sorry, could not resist)
 
Author Comment
mrslarkin May 24, 2011
Hee hee. Thanks gingerroot!
 
Sagegreen May 23, 2011
Oh super yum!!!
 
Author Comment
mrslarkin May 24, 2011
Thanks, Sagegreen!
 
TiggyBee May 23, 2011
Yummmmazing! And quite the stunning photo too!!
 
Author Comment
mrslarkin May 24, 2011
Thank you, TiggyBee!
 
Lizthechef May 23, 2011
I think I'm moving to Pound Ridge, between the lobsters and your scones...
 
Author Comment
mrslarkin May 23, 2011
Ha! Lots of houses for sale around here....
 
lorigoldsby May 23, 2011
There's never leftover lobster....but that aioli sounds like it would be divine on a lobster roll!
 
Author Comment
mrslarkin May 23, 2011
thanks, lorigoldsby! Next year we're ordering extras.
 
nannydeb May 23, 2011
Yum! This has to be on the menu soon!
 
Author Comment
mrslarkin May 23, 2011
Thanks, nannydeb!