Friday, October 12, 2012

Making Mayonnaise

DO NOT USE LIGHT OLIVE OIL - it is treated with bleach!

Let’s give a shout out to my old childhood friend Hellman’s Mayonnaise (and its West Coast cousin, Best Foods).  And if you are waving your hand saying ‘what about Miracle Whip?’ then just slowly walk away before I hurt you…

I had actually stopped buying mayo while on P10 because it’s one of those *can’t resist* foods for me.  I’ve always been intimated by the idea of making mayo and I don’t know why.  And now that I have I’ll keep on doing it and enjoying it. 
Making mayo can be a hit or miss situation though.  My first batch set up perfectly but tasted terrible (I used strong olive oil and white wine vinegar-ugh).  The second batch (strong olive oil and not-fresh lemon juice) never did set up so I tossed it.  The third batch was the charm, using light oil and regular vinegar and tasting as I went along I was able to make real live normal mayo.  
I finally have a use for all of the jars I save...

Homemade mayonnaise has a milder, more neutral flavor than the store-bought varieties, and can be customized to meet your tastes.  And once you get the hang of it you could do all sorts of things to it to change the flavor, like adding garlic or herbs. 
To make 1 cup of mayonnaise you will need:

·                  1 cup of light olive oil (less strongly flavored standard olive oil) or other good-quality oil, like walnut or sweet almond oil
·                  1 egg
·                  1-2 tablespoons lemon juice or vinegar
·                  A pinch of salt (and pepper, if desired)
·                  Water to thin the mayonnaise

Separate the egg. Reserve the whites for other recipes.

For each cup of mayonnaise, add between 1 and 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice or vinegar, depending upon your tastes - start by adding 1 tablespoon and then work your way up or add more at the end.  Combine the egg yolk and lemon/vinegar in the bowl, whisking to mix.

You can make mayonnaise in a food processor, with an immersion blender or by hand, with a mixing bowl and whisk. The key for either method is to add oil very slowly, in a steady stream, while the processor is running or you're whisking vigorously. (Note: to stabilize a lightweight mixing bowl, set it on a coiled kitchen towel.)

Continue to whisk constantly, adding the oil in a slow, steady stream.

If the mayonnaise starts looking too thick, add enough water to thin it to the consistency you desire. Add about a teaspoon of water at a time.

When the oil is all mixed in, the mayonnaise should be thick and fluffy, with your whisk forming ribbons through the mixture.

If it never thickened and you're stirring a puddle, chances are you will need to start over. (Or, if you're still partway through the process, you can save the emulsion by adding another egg yolk, whisking vigorously. Add in remaining oil, plus extra for a double recipe), and adjust the seasonings.

Store fresh mayonnaise in the refrigerator and use within five days.

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