Anti-Vampire Food, or Twihard with a Vengeance*: Lemon Alioli Sauce

Discovering a food in a restaurant that I love and crave for is a wonderful and terrible experience. Wonderful, because eating food that's so good that I fantasize about it more than my fiance (sorry puppy) is nothing less than a gift. Terrible because I don't live in that restaurant and/or can't visit regularly and/or am too poor to subsist solely on my ideal meal.

Occasionally, for foods that truly capture my heart, I will try to recreate them at home. Sometimes this turns out wonderfully, like the shrimp ravioli in tomato veloute sauce (adapted from a lobster crepe I had at Basso 56), sometimes terribly, like my desperate imitation of Border's sublime pastelitos, about which no more should be said. Every now and then, though, I'll skip the hard work and simply ask for the recipe, which is precisely what I did for Iron Hill Brewery's distinctive and flavorful sweet potato fry sauces.

Generally when it comes to my s.p.f.'s (woah! I just got that!), I stick to ketchup, tried and true. A few weeks ago, though, Dave and I visited his home town and got some lunch with his (and my) dear friend, Chris, at the Iron Hill Brewery. The fries were on the menu and I pounced, but when they arrived I was surprised to find that rather than ketchup, they were surrounded by three bowls of different sauces: a spicey, liquidy lime; a smooth and sweet vanilla; and a lemony, creamy garlic. Although I leaned more towards the vanilla and garlic, all three nestled in the hearts of my tastebuds (weird mental image), and on our next visit to Dave's home I lobbied, successfully, for a repeat visit to Iron Hill.

Since I am shy when it comes to those things, I asked Chris (a studying doctor and future McDreamy) to charm the waitress into getting me the recipes. "It'll be my Christmas present!" I said, and he replied with the kind of look that said "Was I going to get you a Christmas present?" Chris prevailed, of course, and our waitress returned with all three recipes, plus their technique for making the fries, written out on a little piece of paper. I was grateful until I realized the recipes were for restaurant-sized portions (seriously, one called for a *gallon* of mayo). Luckily, I remembered my grade-school proportions equations (one of the few forms of math I use on a regular basis), and managed to reduce the recipes to human size.

This weekend I tackled the easiest, the lemon alioli sauce. Alioli, which basically means "more garlic than you can safely ingest," is one of my favorite sauces, being a garlic-phile, but this one added the sharp tang of lemon with a little extra bite of paprika. It was easy, cheap, and turned out exactly like I remembered, earning it the seal of approval. Plus, it required roasted garlic, which is absolutely heavenly to make.

I paired the sauce with some fries and a nice piece of salmon, but I could see it working well thrown over some pasta or tossed in a salad. The only problem was my unfortunate blender failed to adequately chop up the garlic slices, so I had little chunks floating around, but it was still good. Plus it repels vampires! Hooray!

dash paprika
4 1/2 tbsp mayo
3 1/2 tsp lemon juice
3 1/2 tsp roasted garlic puree
3 1/2 tsp minced garlic

Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor

To make roasted garlic:
Cut off the tips of the garlic cloves while still keeping them in the head (see image)
Place on tin foil and coat with olive oil
Roast at 400 degrees for 40 minutes

*Against my better judgment, I did read Twilight. For those of you who haven't read it, let me sum it up here: "I'm so awkward! Who's that gorgeous guy? He's a vampire! And god-like in his beauty! But I love him! Because he's perfect! He loves me! Wow I'm lucky! Oh no evil vampire, ok, he's dead. I want to be a vampire!" Fin. (I hope I don't get mowed down by 800 tweens in "Team Edward" tshirts for this...)


  1. I will gladly accompany you on your next research assignment at Iron Hill Brewery, as will Adam. He has been to IHB more than anyone else in his age group (3 months, 5 trips). 3 more months until he can sample the SPFs. 20 years and 9 months until he can sample the IPAs.

  2. I can't get enough of those Iron Hill sweet potato fries! I was determined to get copycat recipes and stumbled upon your blog a few months ago - love the lemon alioli sauce - THANKS! I have been checking back occasionally ever since hoping you'd post the recipe to the vanilla sauce, but I can't take the suspense anymore! Could you help a girl out?

  3. Sure! Here you go (reduced to 1cup):

    Bourbon Vanilla
    6oz mayo
    6 2/3 tsp bourbon (cook off liquor)
    dash vanilla extract
    1 tbsp maple syrup
    1 tbsp molasses
    dash cinnamon
    pinch salt

  4. thanks SOOO much - I can't wait to try it!

  5. we are having a huge new years eve party tonight and are making sweet potato fries. you are the only place where i have been able to find the iron hill sauces that i love so much. THANK YOU and happy new year!!

  6. I just discovered Iron Hill and I love these fries! Like other commenters, I've been trying to find copycat recipes, thank you so much for posting yours! I'm wondering though, will you post the recipe for the lime sauce as well, and the technique for making the fries?