Saturday, May 26, 2012

The New Recipe Rule: Aioli, Steak, and Cake

At the end of April,  I decided to try at least one new recipe a week.  I've had some interesting results so far - the sourdough being the most (and unexpectedly) challenging.  But I've enjoyed myself and tend to get ridiculously excited when I find the next one I plan to try...

When I saw this list posted at littlebrownpen, it sounded amazing but I was skeptical about the aioli My understanding of aioli was that it was a fresher, fancier version of mayonnaise.  I loathe mayonnaise.  I won't even use a knife that's been used to spread mayonnaise even if it's been wiped clean on a piece of bread.  I ask every server at every restaurant what exactly I can expect if I order a particular sandwich and ask for them to hold the mayo every time.

However, I figured I had nothing to lose by trying it and I'd always heard that fresh was amazing, etc. I hadn't bought a Mother's Day gift....

HOLY AIOLI!  It's definitely not mayonnaise.  It's definitely a workout. It's definitely worth it.

I made the other recipes, too.  It's probably one of the best meals I have ever made in my life.  One of the best I've eaten, too.  Seester was in charge of the bbq.  She cooked the steaks perfectly.  She'd want me to tell you that.  I want to tell you that the fresh parm on top melts into the steak and adds just the right bite...

I did use potatoes that were larger than large apparently so I'll be wiser next time. But dipping them in the aioli was delicious!

For dessert, I stuck to a old family favourite from a community fundraiser cookbook that lost its cover decades ago.  I had already tackled three new ones in a single meal - I figured I was safe.  And it's new to you. :-)

You can tell from the picture that it's well-loved and oft-made. It's not too sweet, has a rustic texture, and a really nice flavour.

I top it with balsamic strawberries and frozen vanilla ice cream or yogurt.  For the strawberries, hull and slice (or quarter) two pints of strawberries.  Add a few tablespoons of brown sugar and a couple tablespoons balsamic vinegar (trust me!) and let the berries macerate.  I leave the bowl on the counter and stir it once every 15-30 minutes for a couple of hours... Delicious.

Recipe links - found via littlebrownpen:
The Creamiest Aioli  - lots of garlic and lemon goodness
Baked Potato Wedges - it's the garlic and fresh rosemary that make these special
Grilled Filet Steak and Arugula - I used mixed field greens with herbs instead of 100% arugula with great success


PS:  If you borrow recipe books, magazines, etc., and forget to photocopy or type up the recipes you want to try until 3 seconds before you were going to give the book, magazine, etc., back to the lender, whip out your phone or camera and snap a picture of it. You can also take a picture of complicated technique photos or the finished dish photo.  That way, if you never end up making the recipe, you haven't spent a ton of time or photocopier money, copying the recipe.


  1. Aaaaaand I almost licked the screen. My recipe book has lots of stains. Thanks to the hubs who apparently cannot hold on to a bloody cup of coffee like a normal person. Not that I'm bitter or anything.

    I made a strawberry rhubarb pie to take to his parents' house... I wish it was dinner time already.

  2. Thanks so much for posting those links! I have been meaning to ask you for the aioli recipe since your giveaway comment. I can already tell that I'm going to lick the bowl clean when we make it!!

  3. This whole meal lolls amazing. What time should I be there ; )

  4. Oh I LOVE those old recipe books with the spatters all over them and missing covers!! I'm super paranoid about scratching my iPad or ripping covers off favourite novels but I don't care when I spill something on a well used recipe.
    That meal DOES look amazing - the parm is a winner no matter what. And I've had strawberries with balsamic - such a weird combination but it WORKS.
    My dad doesn't like mayo either - now I know TWO people....

  5. wow, this looks delicious! Carly, why didn't you tell me before that you had a blog? the spider web quilt is amazing! m

  6. Scared to try the aioli. Hopefully it's an utterly complicated, time-consuming recipe... wouldn't want that sitting around the house on a regular basis, now would we?

    PS - have you ever tried Lebanese whipped garlic? Now THAT is heaven.

  7. I'd heard about mayo-haters, but didn't grow up in a household of them (although I do DETEST Miracle Whip, but my sister loves it). I had fresh mayonaise early on in my life (my father loved to be in the kitchen, and we always had good food) so I guess I just think of REAL mayonaise and imagine that I'm eating/tasting that (although I have to say as an adult, I pretty well eschew any added calories). I loved the picture of the cookbook, and I'll probably try this cake, as I love those homespun, easy cakes that aren't too fussy. Your whole meal looks scrumptious!


  8. Yum yum yum! This all looks delicious. And I am so on board with the strawberry/balsamic vinegar combination. My mum and I canned strawberry balsamic preserves a few summers ago that were delicious. I also love sliced strawberries, balsamic vinegar, black pepper (trust me) with a little whipped cream on top for a simple dessert. :)

  9. It looks so good! Wish you could come to my house to make it!

  10. I agree with you about mayo. Totally disgusting. But aioli? Not too bad. Especially with sweet potato fries! This meal looks delicious!


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