Rouille is a mayonnaise inspired French sauce that is the traditional accompaniment to Provencal seafood soups, especially the legendary bouillabaisse. It is pungently flavoured with the full force of garlic and chilli (hot red pepper). Quite often it is moistened with a little fish broth to make a pouring consistency, then whisked back into the soup. This has a trio of effects. It thickens the soup slightly, adds a vividly irresistible sheen to the soup and of course imprints the dish with it's unmistakable flavour.
Do not concern yourself if you don't have a Provencal seafood feast coming up, as this fiery sauce has a multitude of other uses. Simply think of it as a chilli mayonnaise and you are on the right track. Dollop some on a grilled piece of chicken or fish and serve with a simple salad for a feisty light meal. You could even try putting some on homemade hamburgers and laugh as the angry spirit of Escoffier comes to haunt you.
Some versions include bread or cooked potato, but I prefer to let the egg thicken the sauce to let the other flavour shine through.
In a mortar and pestle crush the garlic and chilli to a smooth paste. Add the egg yolk and crush well. Add the oil a few drops at a time, mixing well with the pestle as you go. Keep adding all the oil until it is used up. As long as you remember to add the oil very slowly and mix well all the time, you should have little trouble. Mix in the lemon juice and season with the salt and pepper.
Store covered in the refrigerator for up to one week.
This sauce can be made in a food processor, but it will not paste the chilli and garlic like a mortar and pestle. The end result will have a few flecks in it, but the flavour will be essentially the same.
Rouille is sort of pronounced Roo - Ee