What’s New Mayonnaise?
The first salad that had any impact on me was a Waldrof. The original recipe had diced red-skinned apples and celery held together by mayonnaise. But I happen to run with a particularly ravenous crowd and love the one with the works. Chopped walnuts, shredded chicken, grapes and dried fruit.
I have healthier friends make it with yogurt instead of mayo. Humph… Yes, to live longer but without the full taste of real food? Not for me.
I confess allegiance to the mayonnaise camp; my roots are deeply planted there. Mayonnaise is almost sovereign in my books. There’s just no substitute, ever. Period.
Not plain yogurt, soy mayo, low fat anything, sour cream, mustard or even whipped cream cheese. That’s a direct snub to a dish that is so dependent on the flavour of mayo that anything else used in lieu is disgusting. I want to taste specific texture; not to just experience something pulled together based on binding properties.
Might as well don’t eat.
My first encounter with it felt so momentous. It was the secret knowledge of the ingredient that distinguishes between the common and the drug-like addiction of the guiltless.
For years I’ve had the commercial stuff. Pathetic.
We’re not made to join the world’s largest human research project as a guinea pig for the jarred and store bought. I mean are there real egg yolks in those jars with self-life’s that exceed two years?
Surely there’s nothing in there but chemicals and rancid oils and a whole lot of additives, thickeners, emulsifiers, flavour enhancers and binding agents like guar gum.
Go read a label.
We’re talking back to basics, elbow grease balloon whisk stuff here. Good homemade mayonnaise is sometimes known to be described in rapt nearly euphoric terms.
It was surprisingly simple and basic. Freshly made mayonnaise is always delightfully light.
Ask my Chef who taught me basic French cuisine. The first edible thing we did was to whip up mayonnaise.
Knock one egg and separate the white from yolk. We only need that one bright yellow sunny yolk. Whisk that and add in the oil, drop by drop.
The big secret is to emulsify.
Normally egg yolks and oil would not naturally mix together. By slowly whisking the oil into the yolks, the two liquids form a stable emulsion that won't separate. Adding the oil too fast; it breaks. Drizzle it in a steady stream it breaks. It needs time and the patience of a saint to get it to work the first time.
So, don’t worry. Escape clause here. If it breaks, start again. Just crack another egg, separate it and slowly incorporate the broken mayo into that yolk, slowly hand-whisking it in.
Once all the oil is incorporated add in a squeeze of lemon juice, more salt and a bit of white pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
The reward is really delicious, gorgeous, creamy homemade mayonnaise in my fridge.
What more is there, I had the cheek to ask Chef. I was rewarded with an eye roll to the ceiling.
“You may choose to make all the other sauces and replace those you have in the fridge,” Chef replied flatly.
I grin, feeling a little silly. I could conquer the world as a balloon whisk heroine of sorts.
To make other mayonnaise based sauces, start with 1 cups of freshly mayonnaise.
Aïoli: Stir in 1 teaspoon of crushed garlic
You can eat Aïoli with vegetables, cold meats, hard-boiled eggs, and poached fish. Spread on baguette croutons and eaten with Provençal fish soup. And if you must, fries.
Tartar Sauce (with relish): Just stir into a cup of mayonnaise 1tbsp of chopped sweet pickle or dill relish, minced onion and extra lemon juice. Fish and chips, here we come!
Thousand Island Dressing: Just add in 2tbsp ketchup, 1tbsp chilli sauce, 1tbsp white vinegar, sugar, sweet pickle relish, minced onion, salt and pepper to taste. It works amazingly well with seafood and shrimp cocktails.
Hey, is that the sound of jars being tossed out of the fridge....