Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Vegan Or Vegetarian Spicy Red Pepper Aioli
Spice Up Your Super Bowl Or Downton Abbey Party!

This red pepper aioli will  spice up any dish!

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You'll Love this Aioli
In the past I was never an aioli fan. I usually avoided mayonnaise, a key ingredient of aioli, because it's too high in calories and I'd rather use pure olive oil for recipes like salad dressings. But there are some healthier mayonnaises available on the market that I don't mind using in recipes that require it, like this aioli. And this particular recipe is so flavorful that a little goes a long way. 

Whether you are having a party next Sunday to watch the Super Bowl or Downton Abbey, red pepper aioli can spice up any dish. Use it as a dip for Garlicky Sweet Potato fries, or crudités, to top sliders, to spice up sandwiches or wraps, on top of crab cakes or roasted baby new potatoes - or just about any dish that needs a shot of flavor.

Selecting your Mayonnaise
There are so many choices for mayo depending on your dietary tastes, restrictions, and preferences. Spectrum has a very wide selection. Some are vegan and some use eggs. All appear to be gluten free. Here are some of the ones they offer:

* Light Canola, Eggless Vegan (only 35 calories per tablespoon)
* Organic Omega-3 with Flax Oil (100 calories per tablespoon)
* Organic Artisan Olive Oil  (100 calories per tablespoon)
* Organic Mayonnaise with Soybean Oil (100 calories per tablespoon)

Selecting your Spice
You can either blend your aioli with crushed red pepper flakes or stir in a liquid hot sauce after blending the aioli. When you stir in a liquid hot sauce, you can add a little at a time until it reaches the desire spiciness. The chili flakes work better when they are blended in and it's hard to add a few at a time without over processing the aioli. So, for me, I like using a liquid hot sauce.

I've recently become addicted to Piri Piri sauce (an ingredient I mentioned in my annual black-eyed pea recipe a few weeks ago.) Since that post, my girlfriend Margarite has introduced me to yet another brand of Piri Piri, which I must admit is even better than the other one. This one is by Maçarico and is available on Amazon. 

Piri Piri, Portugese hot sauce.
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Spicy Red Pepper Aioli
Vegetarian or Vegan (if using vegan mayonnaise), Gluten Free
Requires a good blender
[makes 1 cup]

8 ounce jar organic roasted red bell peppers
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1/2 cup light or regular mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon salt
Liquid hot sauce (like piri piri) to taste or 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Rinse the roasted bell peppers under cold water, removing seeds and blackened skin if any. Drain them on a paper towel and pat dry.

Make sure your peppers are dry or the aioli will be too watery.

Place the roasted red peppers in a blender together with the garlic, mayonnaise, and salt. If using crushed red pepper flakes, place them in the blender with the other ingredients. If you are using liquid hot sauce, do not put in the blender. Blend until smooth.

If using liquid hot sauce such as Piri Piri (instead of crushed red pepper flakes), pour the aioli in a bowl and stir in the hot sauce unit it reaches the desired spiciness. I used 60 drops of Maçarico piri piri hot sauce and Doug thought it was "medium" spiciness although I would say it was a little more than that. 

Refrigerate until needed. Serve on or with any dish that needs spicing up. I like to serve it in a squeeze bottle or on individual resting spoons. 

Serve in squeeze bottle

Or place a small amount on each
individual plate.

Per tablespoon (using Spectrum Light Canola, eggless, vegan mayonnaise): 22 calories, 2 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g cholesterol, 0 g protein, 1 g carbohydrates, 1 g dietary fiber, and 161 mg sodium.

Per tablespoon (using  Organic Spectrum Artisan Olive Oil mayonnaise, made with eggs): 55 calories, 6 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 3 mg cholesterol, 0 g protein, 1 g carbohydrates, 1 g dietary fiber, and 166 mg sodium.

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