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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Basil Parmesan Aioli

Sometimes it's the condiment or the side that makes a dish memorable. Not often but sometimes. And this basil parmesan aioli is definitely one of those "sometimes." 

Now mind you that's saying a lot because this beef tenderloin was about as tender and flavorful as it comes but there was just something about this aioli that made eating the tenderloin with it like eating butter but really good pesto tasting butter. 

It was so scrumptious and it made so much that actually I'm pretty sure I had it on almost every meal I ate that week. Potatoes = fabulous, eggs = fantastic, tomatoes = sublime, fish tacos = a match made it heaven. 

I actually can't wait to make it again and luckily our basil is growing like gangbusters again so it needs a pruning here soon and this aioli is calling my name. 

The aioli emulsion came together just perfectly. I'm not sure sometimes I really struggle getting mayo, aioli and hollandaise to work but for some reason this time it worked perfectly. I highly encourage you make it now and serve it with everything you can think of. 

You won't regret it I'm sure of that.


Beef Tenderloin with Basil Parmesan Aioli: Adapted from Food Network and Ina Garten  
1 whole filet of beef tenderloin, trimmed and tied (4 1/2 pounds)
3 tablespoons good olive oil
4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
10 to 15 branches fresh tarragon

Basil Parmesan Aioli:
2 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup good olive oil

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.
Place the filet on a sheet pan and pat it dry (all over) with paper towels. Brush the filet all over with the oil, reserving about half a tablespoon. Sprinkle it all over with the salt and pepper. Place the tarragon branches around the beef, tying them in 4 or 5 places with kitchen twine to keep them in place, and then brush the tarragon with the reserved oil.

Roast the filet of beef for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, until the temperature registers 125 degrees in the center for rare and 135 degrees for medium-rare. Cover the filet with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 20 minutes. Slice thickly and serve warm or at room temperature with aioli.

Basil Parmesan Aioli:
Place the egg yolks, lemon juice, Parmesan, mustard, basil, garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process for 20 seconds, until smooth. Combine the vegetable oil and olive oil in a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. With the processor running, slowly (like drip by drip) pour the oil mixture through the opening to make a thick emulsion. Taste for seasonings -- the mayonnaise is a sauce so it should be highly seasoned. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use; it will keep for up to a week.


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