I Make Mayonnaise

As part of the other campaign we're having at home, to whit, eating down lower on the processed food chain, I've started making stuff that I used to buy at the store. Namely, last week, mayonnaise.  I actually love Hellman's mayonnaise, so I'm not convinced yet that it's something that needs to happen as much as my other new-found unprocessed love - granola.  Still, I have these beautiful fresh eggs from Rebecca and I've been wanting to see if I could make a mayonnaise emulsify.  The good news is, I can.  The bad news is, I don't think I liked it as much as Hellman's.  However, there's a reason for that. And this is the purpose of blogging - so you can learn from my mistakes. 

I used this Epicurious mayonnaise recipe (of course) that appeared in Gourmet magazine earlier this year. Was it the Chocolate and Zucchini version or the Orangette one?  I don't remember.  In any case, the things I learned the hard way are:

- You need 3 hands to make mayonnaise.

- At least one of those three should be in good shape since you'll be giving it a workout.  You'll also need one hand for pouring in the oil and another to hold the bowl steady. 

- Don't use all olive oil - the mayonnaise tastes like unsweetened olive pudding. Next time I'm trying something completely mild.  

Otherwise, it's pretty straightforward. You just keep whisking like a madwoman and at the end of 10 minutes you've got some pretty respectable mayonnaise.  In the comments on this recipe, someone had added  truffle oil and truffle salt and said it made the best sandwich ever eaten. Someone else commented that she just uses her emersion (sic) blender and that it works great!  So, you can also learn from other peoples' successes. I say, give it a try. Hellman's is awfully spendy and I've heard there's a place where you can get made-in-Michigan cooking oil. 

Oh, and what did I do with my mayonnaise that I didn't like? I put it in this orzo salad I made up with peas, mint and feta. It was quite good.  I'm looking forward to some further adventures in mayonnaise - perhaps even dipping into the aioli. 

The Ingredients 

1 large egg yolk, at room temperature 30 minutes
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/4 cup olive or vegetable oil (or a combination), divided
1 teaspoon white-wine vinegar or cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

The Method

Whisk together yolk, mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until combined well. Add about 1/4 cup oil drop by drop, whisking constantly until mixture begins to thicken. Whisk in vinegar and lemon juice, then add remaining 1/2 cup oil in a very slow, thin stream, whisking constantly until well blended. If at any time it appears that oil is not being incorporated, stop adding oil and whisk mixture vigorously until smooth, then continue adding oil. Whisk in salt to taste and white pepper. Chill, surface covered with plastic wrap, until ready to use.

Cooks' notes:
• The egg yolk in this recipe is not cooked, which may be of concern if salmonella is a problem in your area.
• Mayonnaise keeps, covered and chilled, 2 days.

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