Monday, February 19, 2007

Homemade mayo can be sexy


I was thinking about this the other day while I whipped a quick batch of homemade mayonnaise...you take simple eggs, and simple oil, which on their own are good basic ingredients used in a million types of recipes, and by some simple physics turn them into something luscious and uniquely flavorful. Each ingredient contributes its best feature and makes something completely new and fresh. Not to mention that its texture is smooth and the flavor is rich, and it can take in flavors as well as complement others. Mmmm. I use my homemade mayo to add richness where butter and cream would ordinarily go (like in sauces), and then also use it for regular purposes like egg salad.

I began making mayo since I am allergic to soy, and most commercial mayonnaise is increasingly made with soy oil. I also can't have the alternative vegan eggless tofu-based mayo, which I am DYING to try to make just to see how it works. And taste, especially for those who are allergic to eggs.

Mayo is one of those things that French cookbooks try to scare you out of making because the traditional way is time-consuming and particular. My recipe is made in a blender, and has been simplified from Julia Child and other sources but still works every time. Once you've had homemade mayo you'll never go back. Use the freshest eggs you can get! My recipe tastes like Best Foods/Hellmans, which is my favorite. But if you're the Miracle Whip type (and I'll forgive you just this once) you can add in vinegar and a little sugar to get it to taste to your personal but misguided liking.

THE FAQ BLENDER MAYONNAISE

Ingredients

1 whole egg
1/2 c. light-flavored oil (I use either canola, grapeseed or safflower; grapeseed has a slight flavor however and turns the mayo a little green, fyi)
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 salt
1 tsp. vinegar or lemon juice if desired (plain white, champagne, or cider vinegar)

Equipment

1 blender with a lid that allows pouring while blender is on
1 spatula
1 Tablespoon measure

Crack the egg into the blender and set to a medium-high speed for 30 seconds (I set mine to puree). While running, add in salt and mustard, and blend for another 30 seconds. Add in vinegar or lemon juice at this stage and keep the blender running while you add in the oil.

This is KEY. You must add in the oil SLOWLY for the eggs to properly emulsify. If not, you'll have a pile of separated oil and eggs and you'll need to start over. With the tablespoon as a measure, dip the spoon into the oil, then slowly pour in the entire tablespoon during the time it takes to count to 10. Each time. Yes, it needs to go that slowly.

Continue the process until you hear the mayo emulsify, after tablespoon number 6 or so. You'll hear the blender sound like it's working on a solid rather than a liquid. You can add the remaining oil a little more quickly, but don't dump it in all at once.

Once all the oil is incorporated, stop the blender and look. Make sure that you don't see any streaks of egg or oil, if so, use spatula to scrape off of the sides of the blender and back into the body. Taste for correction. Serve. See how many different things you can pair with it. Sexy, yes? I try not to keep it in the fridge longer than a week because of the raw egg safety issues. Play safely, kids.

yields 1/2 cup

1 comment:

Allergic Girl said...

yes honey yes, sexy as hell!
i've actually made the stuff by hand whisking furiously and yes was in cooking school at the time and yes am bragging a wee bit. ;-)
FAQ we have so much in common i really just wanted to write and say hi and maybe link.
best
allergic girl