I discovered a dangerous thing today – making aioli with store mayonnaise instead of from scratch. It took only a couple minutes and tasted just as good as my painstakingly handmade recipe. So I made Patatas Aioli, a recipe that I got from the chef at La Catalana before it closed and broke my culinary heart.
I set the oven to 425 and began the aioli. I took one cup of mayonnaise and added the fresh-squeezed juice from half a lemon. I took five garlic cloves and crushed them with the flat side of knife, removing the peel. I salted them lightly and let them sit for 10 minutes for the salt to make them nice and juicy. While they were sitting I sliced three potatoes thinly with the mandoline. Back to the aioli, I finely chopped the garlic and added it to the mayo and lemon juice and mixed it all up. It was perfect, fresh, bright and tangy.
Using a pie plate (there are special pommes Anne dishes for this, but they are too costly) I sprayed it lightly with olive oil and layered the potatoes neatly. I spread a layer of aioli and then made a second layer of potatoes that was again spread with aioli. I added the third and final layer of potatoes and added a bit of salt and pepper before putting in the oven for around 30 minutes. I dare you not to lick that aioli bowl!
Patatas Aioli are a Spanish vegetable dish that is rich and creamy with the bright, bold taste of garlic and lemon. Use fresh garlic for its special brightness. The baking process seems to make the mayonnaise rise into a feather light garlicky cream that melts in your mouth.
I chopped up two leaves of Romaine, added a few pecans and grapes and tossed lightly with Raspberry Vinaigrette and let it sit on the plate while I finished up the meal with a turkey cutlet.
I took a 5 oz package of ground turkey, tossed in a pinch of tarragon and some salt and pepper and mixed it up while it was still in the little baggie. I shaped it into a sort or rectangle and put it on a seasoned skillet that was at medium heat. After cooking on both sides, I added it to the plate just in time to take the patatas aioli out of the stove and cut myself a wedge and plate it. It was amazing!