I realize mayo isn’t the most popular condiment these days with all the calorie-counting and weight-watching going around, but the technique involved in whisking two naturally incompatible ingredients into sublime submission is worth sharing – even it it’s just to prep you for a How to Make Hollandaise Sauce post down the road.
What is mayonnaise -the real stuff, not the heavily processed, thick, white gel of sorts we keep in our fridges? Simply put, mayo is a mix of egg yolks, a few flavoring ingredients and olive oil, whisked together until the ingredients are suspended together (think vinaigrette –https://howtoboilanegg.wordpress.com/2009/09/14/how-to-make-a-vinaigrette/).
The processed version has added preservatives and whatnot, but is much more stable than homemade. It’s not nearly as flavorful, but the additives help extend its shelf life far longer than the 5 or 6 days in the fridge homemade mayo is safe to eat.
Why make homemade? Well, like most things homemade, it tastes better. You have complete control over what ingredients are used and you can flavor it to your exact specifications. (Add a pinch of cayenne for a bit of heat, more or less lemon juice or vinegar to taste.) And you’ll look like a true rock-star-chef when you tell friends you made the mayo yourself.
If possible, let your ingredients warm to room temperature before starting. This will make it easier for them to emulsify. It’s important that you add the oil sparingly to start, literally a few drops at a time, until the mixture begins to thicken. At that point you can incorporate it more quickly, though a slow, steady stream works best. The amount of oil you use will depend on the size of your yolks and how thick you want your mayo to be. Stop when you’ve reached the consistency you like.
Next time you want to test your chops, try whisking up this recipe for Mayonnaise.
- 2 egg yolks
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Pepper to taste
Place egg yolks in medium bowl. Whisk vigorously until yolks are light and frothy. Whisk in salt, pepper and mustard. Combine the vinegar and lemon juice in a small bowl, whisking half into the yolk mixture. Gradually whisk the olive oil into the yolks, a drop at a time, until mixture starts to thicken. Add the remaining oil in a slow steady stream. Whisk in remaining vinegar-lemon juice mixture. Season to taste.
Makes about two cups.