But instead of giving up, I went straight for the gold, the quintessential French accoutrement: aioli. Made of garlic and olive oil, what's not to like about the sauce? Well, there's a thickening process for one thing, and that always makes me nervous (unnecessarily in this case, and now I'm fascinated with emulsifying). And raw egg yolks, hmm, fishy. I'm no chef, but I'm pretty sure the lemon juice and vinegar cook the eggs. Truly, this recipe was surprisingly easy, not very messy and pretty quick.
I even got to use my garlic mincer last night. The mincer may have been the kitchen accessory that spawned my interest in cooking. Before then I thought the only garlic available was in a powder or salt. What's not fun about squeezing the guts out of a pungent clove?
But when I got to the part of the recipe that said "1 1/2 cups olive oil," I balked. "WTF? We're in an economic crisis here, I am not pouring five dollars worth of oil into aioli." It turned out I didn't even have that much oil.So I halved the recipe (the remainder of the oil is back in that bottle), and voila, still more aioli than I was able to use on the salmon. What I love about this as well is that there is so much room for improvisation on this recipe. I've seen aioli with all manner of herbs and spices. One of my favorite restaurants serves it with their sweet potato fries--a-maz-ing. The salmon recipe is a tweak from The French Market by Joanne Harris and Fran Ward--do yourself a favor and skip the braised puy lentil recipe--with aioli and leeks instead of straigh dijon mustard (leeks are a mild member of the onion family, no worries, that's a vegetable I've looked up before on Wikipedia).