Friday, June 20, 2008

Mayonnaise without the Jar

My mom sends me some leftover cooking magazines every now and again. I appreciate them, and sometimes I find some really awesome stuff in there. Most of them have really elegant, labor-intensive recipes for exotic-sounding dishes. Imagine my surprise when I came across a recipe (and positively hilarious accompanying editorial) for mayonnaise in a recent edition of Bon Appetit.

Mayonnaise? Is there anything elegant or exotic-sounding about mayonnaise? I didn't think so, but something about the witty musings sparked my interest. One can make mayonnaise? From scratch? I don't think I even really knew what mayonnaise was made out of before this adventure: I just assumed it was a base element or something.

I went forward, botched the first batch (seriously: pour the oil in slowly), but the second one was like a little piece of creamy heaven delivered to my kitchen. I kid you not, it was 11:45 pm (what else was I going to do at quarter to midnight?), and I was so excited I cooked a chicken breast, diced some celery, green onions, and fresh dill to make a chicken salad sandwich just so I could enjoy it. It was the best sandwich I have ever had after midnight.

Homemade Mayonnaise

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 3/4 cup oil (you'll want a mild-flavored oil for this)
Beat the egg yolk with the lemon juice, then add the rest of the ingredients except for the oil, and beat well together.

Now, this is where the fun begins. Start beating, and very, very slowly (almost 1 drop at a time), add about 1/4 cup of the oil. Never allow the oil to collect or pool, or it won't emulsify* correctly. After the initial oil is added, pour in the rest of the oil in a steady, thin stream. Add salt to taste and enjoy. It won't last more than just a few days, so enjoy quickly.

*I didn't know what emulsify meant, so I had to look it up: to create a mixture of two liquids that do not mix together well, such as oil and water, to which other ingredients are added to help hold the mixture together

1 comment:

sunni said...

delish! i love homemade mayo. who knew? perhaps my favorite line in a cookbook (tyler florence) is in a recipe for making basic mayo..."if the emulsion breaks, don't freak--it's easy to fix." good advice. don't freak. just stop drizzling in the oil and whisk until it comes back together again. homemade mayo is great on so many things...mmm....