Smoked paprika aioli
Let me introduce my favourite new spice in the kitchen: smoked paprika. It is totally different to regular paprika, in that it’s super strong, smells and tastes like, well, smoked stuff (kinda bacon-y), and (sadly) is quite a bit more expensive, and therefore generally only available at higher end supermarkets or delicatessens. The best kind is Spanish, and the stuff pictured below can be found in Christchurch at Mercato, Ballantynes and Fresh Choice Merivale (above the open freezers) as far as I know. If you’re wondering, the price is around $12, whether it’s for sweet, hot, or bittersweet (I chose sweet). Yikes, that’s not cheap, even if it is for 70g, but it should last you a decent while considering its potency. However, if you’re a vegan/vegetarian, this is worth every cent, especially if you miss the taste of things like bacon or cheese. When combined with regular paprika, you get a much sweeter, smokier taste that is absolutely swoon-worthy, capable of making ardent meat lovers eat beans and rice with rigour and describe the dish as “really tasty.” I mean, we’re talking about beans and rice here. They’re good, but not wow, what on earth just happened?!
Example two: My new favourite type of aioli, with the scantest pinch of smoked paprika in:
I wish I had clothes that colour. Then I wish I could get away with wearing clothes that colour.
If you’re in New Zealand, and too intimidated/lazy to make this yourself, you are in luck, because apparently Alfa One Rice Bran Oil make it (thanks to Ro for telling me about this, and also for holding my magic whisk while I poured oil). Although if you’re not in New Zealand and want a shortcut, just buy some proper, real mayo, mince up some garlic, throw in some mustard, lemon juice, and a pinch of the aforementioned smoked paprika. Ta-da! Instant friends! Just don’t expect kisses afterwards.
Smoked paprika aioli
makes about one cup (the jar is about half a cup because I shared some)
- 1 large egg yolk (you can freeze the white, just remember to label)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- juice of 1 large lemon – start with juice of half lemon first
- 1/8 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (I chop roughly, then grind in a mortar and pestle)
- 1/8 tsp ground mustard or 1/2 tsp wet mustard, wholegrain or smooth (optional, but awesome)
- freshly ground black pepper
- just under 1c canola oil (not olive – too many flavours competing)
Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature, which means around 20C (70F)
You will need one of the following sets, with the best options at the top – the first three are best done with someone whizzing while the other pours:
- an immersion/stick blender with a whisk attachment, plus the smoothie cup that comes with it
- someone with strong arms, and a lot of patience and love for you, plus a whisk and bowl
- electric cake beaters that work when only one beater is put in, and a glass that fits the beater easily. It should have a little leeway on the sides and fit easily in the bottom of the glass
- a blender or small/mini food processor with an opening where you can pour oil in while the blades are going
By using one of the above you will be able to make a non-commercial amount. Remember, home made mayo doesn’t keep for more than a week, even in the fridge (and you should store it in the fridge), and while this is delicious, you can’t eat a lot of it without starting to feel a little queasy – it is fat laden with more fat, after all! If you want more details on getting your mayo right first off, and what to do if the mayo separates, consult Connie’s guide at Oui chef – it is brilliantly comprehensive, and I wish I had read it before attempting (and failing) my first attempt at home made mayo many months ago.
Combine all ingredients except oil, and let sit (break the yolk first) for a few minutes to allow the acids from the lemon to de-bug your yolk. Whizz/whisk/beat until the yolk is paler and thicker. Leave the blender/mixer running, and drizzle in oil drop by drop, until the mixture is much thicker and stands up on its own when you lift the beaters out of it or dip a spoon in. Only test it when you think it looks quite thick (it should leave trails from the edges of the beaters). Once it is at this stage, you can now drizzle the oil in a thin stream while beating the mixture, and if it’s a bit too thick to beat easily, drizzle the juice in from the second half of the lemon, then followed by more oil. Keep beating until the oil is finished, or you can stop early if it’s sufficiently thick and you’ve run out of lemon juice. Taste, and season with more salt and pepper if required, and stir through.