Recipe: Garlic Aïoli

~ This is Day 178 ~

Ever had sriracha aïoli and wanted to make it at home? Learn how to make the base to all mayo/aïoli from my YouTube video! Also, mayonnaise is the base to many other sauces, such as tartar sauce, remoulade, rouille, salsa golf, etc…

To make garlic aïoli:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1-2 cups neutral oil (grapeseed, canola)
  • 2 garlic cloves, microplaned
  • Salt, as needed

If you liked any of my stuff from the video, here are some links for them:

If you ever need ideas for different flavors of mayo/aïoli, go find Pommes Frites in NYC. I’m glad they didn’t close down and were able to move locations after the East Village fire.

Recipe: Moroccan Lamb Shanks

~ This is Day 151 ~

Since when did NYT started hiding/charging for their recipes? I saw this via the daily newsletter a few weeks back and when I wanted to go back to it, I couldn’t see it anymore. So I’m writing this recipe from memory and from my adaptation of doing this during my Zoom cooking demo last weekend.

I was testing out how a Zoom cooking class would work so I tried this out with four of my relatives on Zoom.

Ras el hanout is a spice mix found in Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. There is no definitive composition of spices that makes up ras el hanout so if your store is out of ras el hanout, you can make it yourself:

  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp cayenne
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves

Serves 4.

  • 4 TBS grapeseed oil
  • 4 lamb shanks, averaging 1 lb each, trimmed of excess fat and sinew
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tsp ras el hanout 
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Generous pinch saffron threads
  • 3 quarts vegetable stock*, more if needed
  • ½ cup blanched almonds
  • 150 g raisins or currants
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 cup parsley leaves, packed
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Sea salt, as needed

*I always try to make my own stocks if possible because stocks shouldn’t contain salt in them. Every store-bought stock contains salt or low-sodium levels and it’s better to add your own salt in your cooking process. Click on above link for my recipe to making your own vegetable stock.

You should do this the night before: generously marinate trimmed lamb shanks in kosher salt overnight. The salt will help flavor the meat and will keep the meat retain moisture.

Blanch lamb shanks in cold water and bring to a boil. Drain and remove from water. Blanching helps remove excess salt and blood. Rinse under cold water if needed, then pat dry on paper towels. 

Heat grapeseed oil in a large heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches if needed, sear the lamb shanks until browned on each side (there are 4 sides!). Make sure the oil is very hot before searing, you need to hear the sizzle.

Transfer the lamb shanks to a dish and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add more oil if needed. Sweat the onion, garlic, ras el hanout, and saffron. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once aromatic, return the shanks to the pan with the cinnamon stick. Add the stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Taste and adjust for seasoning. The meat of the shanks should be mostly covered, but not fully submerged in the stock. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally, until the meat is fully cooked and tender, about 2-2½ hours, depending on the size of your shanks. If it looks like there isn’t enough liquid in the pot or if it’s drying out during the cooking process, add some more stock.

Preheat oven to 400°F and roast blanched almonds for 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden. When nuts are cool enough to handle, use a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground or chop by hand. Sift through to remove the finer pieces. Set aside until ready to serve.

Pick, wash, spin parsley leaves then chop and set aside.

Once the lamb shanks are fully cooked, remove them from the pan and set aside. Add the raisins and honey to the sauce and gently stir to combine. Cook, uncovered, over medium-high heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has reduced to a syrup-like consistency. Taste and adjust for salt-content. There might be impurities coming up as you reduce, so skim those off.

When the sauce is ready, return the lamb shanks to the pan to warm them through and coat them with the sauce. Add in chopped parsley. Garnish with almonds and serve immediately with fluffy couscous.

Recipe: Zabb Fried Chicken

~ This is Day 67 ~

Before you do anything, go here to Fish Cheeks‘ website and buy their zabb seasoning because this recipe won’t work without it!

My favorite number 3 dish at Fish Cheeks is their zabb fried chicken wings! Zabb is a spice seasoning consisting of chili, lemongrass, makrut lime, salt, and sugar. Their wings are so incredibly scrumptious! Finger-licking, smackingly good!!!!

About two years ago, I have been conducting trials at home to recreate their zabb seasoning but was unsuccessful. Thanks to Chef Ohm for recently selling the seasoning now!!! Now that I know what exactly is inside, I’m still going to try and make it at home from scratch. I was only missing the lemongrass and makrut lime flavors.

Anyway, I live outside of their delivery zone and it’s been really rough looking at their gorgeous food on social media everyday during quarantine, so I finally got their seasoning and made fried chicken at home. Not exactly how they make it at the restaurant, I made drumsticks like how Korean fried chicken is made and tossed it with their zabb seasoning! For fried chicken, I prefer drumsticks over wings!

For the Marinade:

  • Salt, as needed
  • 1 TBS garlic powder
  • 1 TBS ground ginger
  • Splash of Chinese rice wine/white wine/vodka/booze
  • 8 chicken drumsticks

Cut slits on the drumsticks to maximize flavor absorption. Season chicken drumsticks generously with kosher salt, then marinate drumsticks with spices and flavorings in a shallow bowl or dish for 30 minutes in room temperature before frying.

For the Flour Mix:

  • AP flour
  • Cornstarch/Potato starch
  • Salt

I mix equal parts flour to starch and season it a little with salt.

For Deep Frying:

  • Grapeseed or canola oil
  • Thermometer

Take marinaded drumsticks and toss in flour mix, make sure to pat flour mix into and onto drumsticks. I like to shake them in a ziplock bag to fully coat the chicken. Place coated chicken on a wire rack and heat up oil.

Fry the chicken twice, once at 300°F, and the second time at 400°F. Internal temperature of chicken should be at least 165°F. After the second frying, while the chicken is resting on a clean wire rack, find your largest bowl and toss chicken generously with the zabb seasoning!

Recipe: Salsa Verde

Salsa Verde just means Green Sauce; it is uncooked and usually based on herbs (Italian, Spanish, French, German, Argentinian), however, Mexican salsa verde is based on tomatillos.

We make a very simple salsa verde in the restaurant. It’s vegan, there’s no anchovies at all.

  • 1 pint parsley leaves, packed tightly
  • Equal part grapeseed oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Pinch of salt

In a VitaMix, blend all ingredients on high for three seconds. Store in air-tight container and place in fridge.

Sample dishes:

Recipe: Melon Vinaigrette

At home, what do you usually do to with seeds when you cut melons such as cantaloupes and honeydews apart? Throw them away right? I sometimes put them in my mouth because the pulp sack around them is really sweet. However, I find it annoying that I have to eat them over the trash because I’m basically spitting out the seeds like a machine gun.

Anyway, save those seeds and pulp next time so you can make delicious melon vinaigrette!

  • Seed cavities from two melons (e.g. cantaloupe, honeydew, Crenshaw)
  • ½ cup white wine/white balsamic/champagne vinegar
  • 1½ cups neutral oil (e.g. grapeseed)
  • Salt
  • Xanthum gum (optional)

Push the seed cavities through a fine mesh strainer or chinois and reserve juices. The more juice you get out, the better.

In a VitaMix, pour reserved juices, vinegar, and oil into blender. Add a pinch of salt and a touch of xanthum to combine.

Sample dishes:

Recipe: Saffron Aïoli

Traditionally, aïoli is an emulsion of oil and garlic. When I use the term “aïoli”, it is an emulsified sauce containing oils, egg yolks, water, and flavorings, such as saffron or paprika.

Creates 1 pint.

  • Pinch of saffron
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 pint neutral oil, such as grapeseed
  • Salt
  • Iced water, as needed

In a small bowl or container, infuse the saffron threads with the lemon juice. In a food processor/Robot Coupe, add the yolks and the lemon-saffron mixture, pulse until combined. Add the oil very slowly, in a steady stream, drop by drop until an emulsified base has formed. *Add a tiny splash of iced water (1 tsp). Once the yolks and oil have formed a stable base, you can pour the rest of the oil in. Season with salt and taste/adjust.

*Adding iced water to aïoli prevents it from breaking and also it thins out the aïoli, if you don’t want your aïoli to be too thick.

Sample dishes: