Saturday, April 17, 2010

Recipe- Mayonnaise

I never, ever buy mayonnaise.  I  don't really use it that often.  I use it in deviled eggs or egg salad, and sometimes I get a hankering to use it on a sandwich or two.  So when I need it I just make it.  I have no idea why it is a terrifying thing to make- I think that legend must have come from people who don't buy good, fresh, truly free range eggs.  If you have those eggs then all of your wildest egg dreams are possible.  If you don't, well, just don't try to make any "tricky" egg dish or sauce.  In fact, just don't use eggs at all.  It's not worth it.

  • 1 whole "good egg" from any farmer at Main Street Farmer's Market -room temp
  • 1 egg yolk -room temp
  • 1 teaspoon good mustard (homemade mustard is really super easy to make; I just use my friend Ashley's homemade stuff)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice (or any kind of acidic liquid will do- like vinegar)
  • 3/4 - 1 cup olive oil OR a mixture of olive oil and vegetable oil of your choice- sunflower is good
  • nice pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon herbs, garlic, or whatever you want to flavor it with (optional)
Place a medium sized bowl on a wet-ish dish towel (this will keep the bowl from spinning obnoxiously around while you try to whisk).  Whisk the eggs, mustard, salt, lemon juice, and flavorings together until they are combined.  Slowly, slowly add the oil, whisking all the while.  If you accidentally add too much, just whisk it in until it is all combined.  You never want to see any oil pooling up anywhere.  Keep whisking and adding until all of the oil is emulsified into the eggs.  If it is not thick enough (it will never be as thick as the "store bought" junk), whisk a bit longer, and add a bit more oil.  It will also firm up in the fridge. If you mess up and have scrambled eggs with oil instead you can add another yolk or even a touch of water- adding slowly like you did the oil.  But I seriously have never messed it up.  Don't be afraid.

Supposedly this can be done in the blender even more easily.  I don't have a blender so I couldn't tell you....

When I was at Ballymaloe Cookery School part of our 'semi final exam' was exhibiting the cooking skills we had learned over the past three months.  The night before I studiously/anxiously sharpened my filleting and boning knives, worried that I would be requested to fillet a round fish (landlubber that I am I had only filleted about five round fish in my life) or bone a leg of lamb.  Lucky for me I ended up having, in a very quiet room and carefully watched by three teachers, to make pie pastry, mayonnaise, and a poached egg.  If I can make mayonnaise while being scrutinized then anyone can.  I have terrible stage fright.

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