Saturday, July 31, 2010


Mayonnaise doesnt need to bought in the store where it is to expensive and contains too many ingredients. in fact i bet you have everything you need to make it in your kitchen right now, not only that but i bet you have everything you need to make its bigger, fancier brother -aioli. mayo is one of the most simple emulsions to make (it doesnt require heat) and both aioli and remoulade sauce (fancy tarter) are a snap once you can make mayo. between them you can sauce almost anything from veggies, to fish, to salads, to burgers. not to mention that if you can get some practice at this and get to understand what things should look like and what you are trying to make happen, then your only one very, very small step from making the greatest most versatile sauce of all time- hollandaise. As in the norm ingredients first, then hardware, then method.

egg yolks- i could ramble on forever about eggs, but basically you are looking for yolk only for their lecithin. (if you remember i bought some of that in a powder form sometime ago) 1 yolk will hold 8 oz of fat.....always and forever. i think that it is pointless to make 1 cup of mayo, not to mention almost impossible to whip one egg yolk. i never go at it without less than two. room temperature is ideal but not necessary. at home i will use a raw egg yolk, at work a pasteurized yolk product. it is important to remember that some individuals are much more prone to suffering the food bourne illnesses associated with raw eggs (and undercooked proteins in general) small children, seniors, people with compromised immune deficiencies, and pregnant women can all have issues with these sort of things. i dont much worry about things like this at home, but at work i have no option but to take them very seriously. if raw egg yolks bother you (do you eat cookie dough?) then look for pasteurized yolks at you local megamart. they will have a measurement ratio on the back of the box.

oil- ideally you use a very mild fat to do this. i use a very light olive oil (nothing with any fruitiness like Extra virgin) or a canola or vegetable oil. once you get the hang of it, you can experiment to suit your tastes but i have had mayo that was fabricated from a first press olive oil and the olive flavor gets in the way of what i was wanting to taste. like i said the two eggs you are going to use will hold 16 oz of fat (i said it was good not healthy) i like to stick with about 12 oz of fat for two yolks for a perfect marriage. i put mine in a squeeze bottle, or anything else where you can add it drop by drop. if the mayo is going to break it will happen in the first few drops of the oil. whisk hard and strong while the first third of the oil is being added. after that it shouldnt break if you add in a steady drip while whisking.

lemon juice- fresh squeezed, juice from one lemon for two yolks works for me.

water- room temp, and only a bit. if at any point your mayo begins to look like it is thicker than it should be add some water a teaspoon at a time. this will help it to loosen up. have it ready cause once you start the process you shouldnt stop till your done.

mustard powder- not absolutely necessary and i use it in a very scant amount. i dont want the taste of the mustard to come out, i just want the help from it to form the emulsion.

salt- i wasnt going to leave that out. enough said

the bowl- my favorite culinary instructor asked me one if i was making "greynnaise". i was using a stainless steel bowl and was overworking it. the agitation and the acids involved had a pretty bad reaction with the soft white mayo turning it to a dull grey color. sidebar- we had to do this multiple times in culinary school even had to make it break and then fix it all in a certain amount of time. to prove that we had done it correctly we had to lift the bowl upside down above our heads, for one girl in my class it wasnt until she had mayo all over her head and shoulders that she hadnt fixed it correctly. she probably isnt cooking anymore. to stay away from greynnaise i like a nice plastic bowl with a flat bottom, with plenty of space to whisk.

the whisk- this could be done flawlessly in a blender but we wouldnt learn anything, so i encourage you to make it with a whisk at least once. watch things happen and you will really learn something.

if it breaks- if the mayo takes on a gritty appearance, or wont thicken, rinse your whisk really well, get another bowl and add the broken mayo a few drops at a time while whisking vigorously. it should come back together and allow you to continue. if you still cant get it to come together call me.

separate the eggs and place the yolks in the bowl. add the lemon juice, mustard, and a pinch of salt. work vigorously with the whisk until it is well combined. while continuing to whisk slowly add the first few drops of oil. once they are well incorporated continue adding in very slow fashion all while continuing to whisk. if the mayo gets to thick add some water, but add it in very small amounts. drops at a time. continue adding oil until the 12 oz is all incorporated. refrigerate immediately. covered well it should last a few weeks easily.

now what- this would be great on sandwiches, pasta or potato salads etc. to make it an aioli add some flavor to it. anything at all. my all time favorite is this exact recipe with lime instead of lemon and finished it with a chipotle and some adobe, rubbed on some grilled corn. roasted garlic, roasted red peppers, citrus zest, etc and you have a world class aioli. add dill, relish, capers, and parsley and you have the perfect tarter style sauce for any fried fish dish.

this is a cool way to send a dinner party over the top, or just to impress a loved one. i would love some feedback on how it works for you or what you are using it for. now get out there and work those forearm muscles. a very good chef i know has asked seasoned chefs applying for work to make things like aioli for him in interviews before. as far as i am concerned you cannot be a good professional cook until you can make the most basic of things, like mayonnaise, amazing.

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