***Disclosure: I received complimentary samples to facilitate my post. All opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
Woo-Hoo! Grilling season is officially here! I know I sound maybe a little too excited, but this girl loves to grill. Whether it's burgers, steaks, chicken, or even a nice pork tenderloin, if the weather is nice, you can bet that we'll be cooking out, more often than not.
One of my favorite meals during the summer would have to be a classic burger. With lots and lots of cheese, of course. You can't forget the cheese. Unless you're lactose intolerant or Vegan, and if that's the case, you can give your cheese to me. I will gladly take it off of your hands.
Anyway, this summer, why not make an ordinary burger something extraordinary by ditching the ketchup and making a delicious, flavorful aioli instead? Now if you watch the Food Network, you probably know what an aioli is, and it might sound a bit intimidating to you. It is a rather fancy sounding word, after all. But I assure you, making your own aioli is easy. If you need some aioli inspiration, check out the wide variety of aioli recipes from Red Gold Tomatoes. These recipes take about 10 minutes to prepare, and they can add incredible flavor to everything from burgers to steaks to tacos. Aioli is versatile stuff, and can go with pretty much any dish you can imagine.
Recently, I received a Red Gold package with a challenge to jazz up our meal with some delicious aioli. This mayonnaise-based sauce is something I am already super-familiar with, so this is a challenge I accepted right away.
I decided to make traditional bacon cheeseburgers, since that's something the kids and hubby always like. Instead of slathering them with ketchup and mustard, I decided to make some roasted garlic aioli. Yep. I just said roasted garlic. Is your mouth watering yet?
Now if you've never incorporated roasted garlic into your meals, you're definitely missing out. The process of roasting garlic is very simple, and it transforms ordinary garlic into something decadent and complex. The garlic becomes super-soft, and the roasting process lends a certain sweetness to your normally pungent garlic.
To roast garlic, all you need to do is take a head of garlic and cut just enough off the top so the individual cloves are visible. Place your garlic into a cake pan or on a baking sheet. Drizzle it with some flavorful olive oil, and sprinkle liberally with some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper for added flavor. Cover with some foil and pop it into an oven that's preheated to 375 degrees Farenheit. Then walk away for 45 minutes to an hour.
Now as the garlic roasts away to absolute perfection, you will notice a rich, savory aroma filling your kitchen. This scent might tempt you to open the oven to check on the garlic. Don't do it! Keep the oven closed and let it work it's wonders. Trust me. It's worth the wait!
Once the timer has gone off, remove the garlic from the oven. Let it sit for a few minutes, since it will be extremely hot. Then take off the foil and gaze adoringly at these beautifully browned cloves. Don't they look amazing?
To extract your garlic, all you need to do is squeeze. The garlic will be rather mushy, and the act of squeezing the individual cloves will extract all of the roasted garlicky goodness. Just put it into a mixing bowl of sorts and mash it up a bit with the back or a spoon or a fork. Then we're ready to make some aioli!
Now making the roasted garlic aioli is easy. The hard part is already done! If you call roasting garlic hard, that is. Once you've mashed up your golden brown garlic, add some mayonnaise, salt and pepper to taste, and some Red Gold Petite Diced Tomatoes. I like the Garlic & Olive Oil variety for this recipe, but use any kind you'd like.
Mix it all together and you've got a creamy, flavorful sauce that will really make your burgers or sandwiches sing. Feel free to add spices to suit your own personal tastes. Aioli is very versatile, so experiment and have fun! Isn't that what cooking is all about, after all?
Like I said, I decided to make some basic bacon cheeseburgers, some Parmesan oven roasted potatoes, and a zippy Italian Pasta Salad. As we waited for the grill to melt the cheese into ooey-gooey perfection, I started prepping the plates. As you can see, I added a thick layer of my roasted garlic aioli to the bottom part of the bun, making a nice place to rest our steaming hot burger patties.
And here is my husband's plate, which consists of a man-sized double bacon cheeseburger and heaping piles of sides. I have added a few slices of American cheese, some fresh, organic field greens, and some crisp, thick-cut bacon. No ketchup or mustard is anywhere in sight, since my roasted garlic aioli adds amazing flavor that complements the burger just beautifully. Think of it as your own secret burger sauce!
Here is the recipe for my roasted garlic aioli. I was inspired by this recipe on the Red Gold website, but tweaked it a bit to fit my family's tastes:
Roasted Garlic Aioli
-1/2 cup Mayonnaise (I like natural and organic Olive Oil varieties best, but any mayo will work!)
-10 Large Garlic Cloves, roasted and mashed
-1 Can Red Gold Petite Diced Tomatoes with Garlic and Olive Oil, drained.
-1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
-1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
-1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
-1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh Basil
-Dash of Balsamic Vinegar, to taste
To Roast Garlic:
For the Aioli:
Red Gold also will host a facebook campaign running May 7-27th, where folks can win aprons or potentially a $250 prize pack that includes a Cuisinart Panini Grill and other great prizes. Just go to https://www.facebook.com/RedGold and select which aioli you are most like.
How Do YOU Aioli?! I'd love to hear your recipe ideas!
PR Friendly Mama!
I'm Brandy, a happily married, proud Mom of 3 amazing kids. If you're interested in building a working relationship, please feel free to e-mail me at: NewlyCrunchyMamaOf3@gmail.com
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