before i give the recipe, i will say that some people don't know or 'get it' that the authentic version of this sauce is made without eggs and quite a
the other way to make thoum stable is to use an egg yolk, an ingredient which makes a thick unctuous product. this creamy off-white coloured garlic sauce is also the one, i believe, the majority of people are looking for and the one which they are accustomed to finding in (fast food type) lebanese restaurants.
the best way to prepare this condiment is in a blender or with a hand held immersion blender. if you choose the latter route, make sure you have someone helping you to hold the vessel/cup in which you blend the ingredients, as it becomes difficult, even next to impossible, to keep it from wobbling around while blending and trying to add the oil all at the same time.
the most important thing when making this is NOT to rush. if you're one of those people who are impatient, then you are better off getting someone else to make it or just to buy it. while making this sauce is pretty straightforward, it still requires attention to detail and a steady hand.
the sauce is good for 1 to 2 weeks if well refrigerated. only use mild olive oil or a blend of vegetable and olive oil. remember this recipe is more like a mayonnaise (and therefore highly caloric) while the other has a different texture. that one, i'd say, is more like a sauce than a mayonnaise. it also uses less oil and is more pungent.
lebanese garlic mayonnaise sauce
makes approx. 1 cup
3 large cloves garlic + 1 smaller one
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 tsp (no more than that!) water*
1/4 tsp salt
1 c (8 oz) regular olive oil or blend of vegetable and olive oil
white vinegar mixed with water to equal 3 tbsp OR,
juice of 1/2 small lemon
*the water is there to help blend things easily. DO NOT omit it.
have your mise-en-place ready first. you don't have time to run around the kitchen grabbing ingredients.
*i am using an immersion blender here; you can use a regular one. do NOT use a food processor.
place the garlic and egg yolk in the mixing bowl (or tall sided immersion blender jar). if you don't trust your blades are sharp enough, you can use a mortar and pestle to grind the garlic to a fine purée with the salt and then add it to the blender with the egg yolk and continue from that point.
blend it for a minute just to break up the garlic. it will further break down as you progress.
add the salt and the water and mix it for 2 or 3 minutes (pulsing) until is is broken down and blended.
this part is where you need to keep an eye on things. i can't say exactly how long it will take as it depends upon your ingredients and your method.
add the oil now in DROPS and blend in completely after each one, pulsing as you go.
continue to do this until your mixture looks creamy and emulsified. this is the sign of when to add the rest of the oil, slowly in more of a steady stream.
add the oil, in trickles and keep blending as you go. it will take some time, maybe up to 10 minutes. have someone hold the emulsion jug if that is how you're doing it or to slowly pour the oil as you blend and hold on to the jar.
once all the oil is incorporated, it should look like a whitish very thick mayonnaise.
taste it to see if you need more salt. add a tiny bit if necessary.
now add the lemon juice or vinegar and water mixture in a slow stream until it tastes right to you. you may not need it all, so taste test along the way.
refrigerate and use as wanted.