Patates amb Allioli

patates amb allioli

patates amb allioli

August 14th, 2014

A small hake fillet and a couple of haddock fillets landed in my lap (very cheaply) today. Hake always makes me think of allioli – both are very popular in Barcelona and seem to go hand in hand. Allioli is an emulsion made of garlic and olive oil (all i oli in the Catalan language) which seems to go very well with most fish, chicken, lamb and potatoes.

I  thought I’d dust the fish with seasoned flour, pan fry it in olive oil and serve it with fried potatoes and allioli on the side. While I was peeling the garlic I remembered seeing a recipe in Colman Andrews book, Catalan Cuisine, for Patates amb Allioli (scalloped potatoes with allioli) and went to look it up…

I liked the idea but preferred my own allioli recipe here. Strictly speaking, a traditional allioli is made with garlic, olive oil and a pinch of salt only. The addition of eggs turns it into garlic mayonnaise and many Catalans will tell you it’s just not right! However, it is increasingly common for allioli to be made with eggs, since they aid in the emulsification and make it possible to prepare in a food processor. In this case, I like the addition of eggs because they help to bind the potatoes when baking and give the dish a nice golden colour.

Patates amb Allioli (serves 2):

3 pieces of garlic (peeled and squashed a little with the back of a knife)
2 egg yolks
the juice of a lemon
one third of a bottle of extra virgin olive oil
4 medium potatoes (peeled and sliced)

Peel and slice the potatoes (I used Désirée which are waxy and floury – this means they hold their shape well and absorb the allioli) and boil them in salted water for about 10 minutes. Rinse them with cold water and allow them to cool.

While the potatoes boil, put the garlic and a pinch of salt into a food processor. When the garlic is chopped add the two egg yolks and blitz until the eggs and garlic have emulsified. Then slowly drizzle in the olive oil – you will hear the food processor change tone as the allioli thickens. Finally squeeze in the juice of a lemon and give the allioli one last whizz.

scalloped potatoes in allioli

scalloped potatoes in allioli

Oil a baking dish to prevent sticking and make alternate layers of potato (dry with some kitchen towel if necessary) and allioli. Sprinkle on a little black pepper and bake in a preheated oven at 200º C for about 30 minutes, or until the mixture has gone puffy and golden.

I served my fish and potatoes with some seasonal broad beans and peas. I also had some extra allioli on the side and a glass of Torres De Casta rosado – labeled Viña Sol rosé in the UK.

It did occur to me later that one could cook the fish and potatoes in the oven together with a little more allioli…

N.B. In case of disaster where the mixture splits, I learnt a great tip from an Elizabeth David book (regarding making mayonnaise and it works for allioli too) – if the egg yolks and olive oil fail to bind, set your mixture aside and clean your mortar and pestle (or food processor). Beat another two eggs and slowly add your original mixture, it should all bind together. You have the expense of another two eggs, but at least you don’t have to throw all your previous ingredients away. I notice that the tip is included in this article on perfect mayonnaise.

About Mad Dog
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21 Responses to Patates amb Allioli

  1. Amanda says:

    OH man! This looks so good. Fish and potatoes is so Spanish and the way you prepared these is just mouth-watering. Great allioli recipe too. This is a keeper.

  2. cecilia says:

    I Have not had potatoes with alioli for such a long time i had forgotton all about it. We only made it with the oil and garlic, ising the salt to grind the garlic with the flat blade of the knife, but (as you know) I love the addition of eggs..I will most defintiely be having this soon .. c

    • Mad Dog says:

      I would imagine you have enough eggs to make a huge amount! I had the leftovers with gazpacho today – it seems to go well with everything. I bet Sheila would like it 😉

  3. Ruth says:

    Looks rich and delicious and what a pretty baking dish. MMM- shared on FB

  4. Tessa says:

    Looks and sounds so delicious! Have a great weekend!

  5. Eha says:

    As I told you way back: I learnt from your ‘allioli’ versus’ the ‘aioli’ I had used all my life! Basically, do not eat potatoes, but would have them the Catalan way any day . . . . Know you had a wonderfully tasty meal or three . . .

  6. Wonderful MD and I’m glad you didn’t stint on the olive oil 🙂 Until I lived in Spain I had never cooked mayonnasie or alioli but it’s such a great method of using it. I think (but I know you’ll know for sure) that most of the hake fished in British water is sent to Spain as we eat so much of it here and it’s not eaten so much in the UK. Weird!

    • Mad Dog says:

      Thanks Tanya. You can’t have enough olive oil… well perhaps with your trees you do have sufficient… 😉
      I cooked sardines the next day and made up another batch of allioli – I’m sure I get fatter by the minute, but it tastes so good!
      Hake does seem to be getting more popular here, but I believe most of the fish caught around Britain do end up in Spain. IMHO it’s better than cod and it has a very solid spine so you don’t get all those nasty little bones.

  7. Michelle says:

    Delicious! (And, no, I don’t think it’s possible to have too much olive oil.)

  8. Conor Bofin says:

    Great tip on the mayo MD. I have poured too many failures down the sink in my time.

  9. Pingback: Conejo al Ajillo (Rabbit with Garlic) | Mad Dog TV Dinners

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