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Fear Conquered: Homemade Mayonnaise
Up until four months ago, I never made my own mayonnaise.
For a long time I used whatever mayonnaise was cheapest, then I switched to the mayonnaise with the fewest ingredients. Because isn't mayonnaise a staple ingredient just like butter or cheese or tomato paste or mustard or vinegar? I don't make any of those ingredients from scratch (yet), so why would I make mayonnaise from scratch?
For all my preaching about cooking from scratch, eliminating processed and pre-made foods, and avoiding preservatives and artificial dyes, it shocks me I didn't jump on homemade mayonnaise early on. After all, it's in so many things - salads, dips, spreads - so replacing the bottled pre-made stuff with the homemade version would clearly be a way to show those closest to you how much you care.
But there's an even better, more appealing reason to make your own mayonnaise. It's amazingly delicious.
I never figured there would be much of a taste difference between the pre-made bottled mayonnaise and the homemade version - and I figured the process of messing with raw egg yolks and oil was best left to bottling companies. Until my sister M made me a sandwich with her homemade mayonnaise. O. M. G. I couldn't believe what I'd been missing.
The mayonnaise MADE that sandwich. The zing of the vinegar, the sharpness of the salt, the fresh yet subtle eggy-ness - it was like I'd never tasted mayonnaise before. Truth be told, I went straight home (a few days later) and whipped up a batch of my own homemade mayo.
Which is the other reason everyone should make their own mayonnaise: it's EASY! And fast. Don't believe all those people who will tell you horror stories about yolks "breaking" or a soupy mess when the oil refuses to emulsify - if you follow a couple easy tips, you'll never have a problem.
In case you see the pictures where I use a food processor and think to yourself, "This recipe won't work for me because I don't have a food processor," let me assure you that a food processor is NOT required. In fact, you don't even need a blender or mixer (although I'd recommend one unless you've built up some stamina in your forearms and enjoy a good workout). For help on making mayonnaise without a food processor, see the tips following the recipe.
So why not take that unopened jar of Hellmann's back for a refund? Or if you don't have the receipt, donate it to a charity drive. Or take it to work with a sticky note: "Free to a good home." Because you don't need preservatives, you don't need artificial dyes, or emulsifiers you can't pronounce. And once you try the REAL thing, you'll never want to go back.
So seriously - get rid of that jar and make yourself some mayonnaise.
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|Two room-temperature pasteurized eggs.|
|Room temperature egg yolks added to small bowl of food processor fitted with the steel blade.|
|3/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper added to yolks.|
|1 teaspoon white wine vinegar added to yolks.|
|2 teaspoons dijon mustard added to yolks.|
|Pulse to combine ingredients with egg yolks.|
|Yolks should be smooth and creamy before adding any oil.|
|1 cup peanut oil (or canola if desired).|
|With the food processor on continuous run, slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup of the oil through the feed tube.|
|The egg yolks will emulsify the oil and thicken into a loose mayonnaise.|
|Add the juice of half a lemon.|
|Add reserved 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar. Pulse to combine.|
|With the food processor on continuous run, slowly drizzle in remaining 1/2 cup of oil.|
|The mayonnaise will be thick and pale.|
|Transfer mayonnaise to a sealable air-tight container (whisk to fully combine if necessary) and refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.|
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Real Homemade Mayonnaise
Prep Time: 10 min
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Ingredients (makes 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 pasteurized egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar, divided
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard (recommend Grey Poupon)
- 1 cup peanut or canola oil
- 1/2 lemon, juice of
- In the small bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, cream together the yolks, mustard, pepper, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon vinegar for 30 seconds until the yolks are thickened and creamy
- With the food processor on continuous run, very slowly drizzle in a small amount of the oil, wait 5 seconds, then repeat this process several more times
- Slowly drizzle in half of the remaining oil in a thin continuous stream; the yolks will emulsify the oil and thicken significantly
- Shut off the food processor; add the reserved salt, vinegar and lemon juice and pulse the food processor to combine; with the food processor on continuous run, slowly drizzle in the remaining oil
- Transfer the mayonnaise to a sealable, air-tight container (whisking to combine before sealing if necessary); refrigerate for up to 2 weeks
An original recipe by Javelin Warrior. © 2011 Javelin Warrior. All rights reserved.
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Hungry for Tips?
- Room Temperature: Egg yolks will emulsify oil best when they are at room temperature, so never attempt this recipe with cold yolks. Since most of us keep our eggs chilled in the refrigerator, either set out the eggs a couple hours before you're going to make mayonnaise or place the unbroken eggs in a bowl of warm water and for 2 minutes, then drain and use.
- Salt: Salt is the difference between amazing mayonnaise and hum-drum-why-did-I-bother-making-this-mayonnaise. If you're not using kosher salt, you may only need 1 teaspoon, but since you rarely eat mayonnaise on it's own, I recommend over-salting versus under-salting.
- No Food Processor: A food processor is my preferred tool for making mayonnaise because it emulsifies so beautifully. But if you don't own one, you can use a blender or even whisk the mayonnaise together by hand. If using a blender: on the lowest setting, drizzle in the oil through the lid opening (you may need need to whisk in the final third of the oil by hand as the mayonnaise often gets too thick and the remaining oil never reaches the blades). If you're making the mayonnaise by hand, it's especially important thoroughly whisk the yolks before adding any oil. Add oil VERY slowly until the mixture begins to thicken, at which point you can drizzle in oil with one hand and whisk with the other.
- Dijon Mustard: Not all dijons are created equal. Some have too much vinegar, some too much mustard, some not enough sugar, others too much. If you have a dijon you love, use it. Otherwise, I recommend Grey Poupon.
- If you get bored with basic mayonnaise, you an spice if up. Add roasted minced jalapenos, minced garlic or even basil to the final mayonnaise. Let imagination be your guide.
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