A lot of folks are leery of genetically modified foods, and you can find lists of companies that use such things in their food products. I was distressed to find that my favorite mayonnaise is on the list as being one of those companies.
Now, I’m not here to pitch for how you should eat, but really homemade mayo is something special. At least for some things, might you consider using it instead of what can live on a shelf unrefrigerated until opened? (I’m always suspicious that the seal isn’t good).
Making mayonnaise is simple, and once you know how, you can abandon the standard recipe and do it by sight. And better yet, you can add so many things that will give your food a real kick. I’m cutting and pasting from a NYTimes article that lists some possible alternatives.
As I said, the basic recipe is pretty much the same everywhere.
The only difference is whether you use a full egg or only the yolk. I use the latter.
So indulge yourself and your family and make some of the real stuff. Either a food processor or a blender will do the job. You can do it by hand, but it’s a lot of very hard whisking and unless you are a professional, your arm probably can’t last.
- 1 lg egg yolk at room temperature
- 2 tsp lemon juice (real please from an actual lemon–this works out to about half of a large lemon, give or take.)
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard (again, like the lemon juice, you are looking to approximate. You want this to be easy)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cold water
- 3/4 c oil (canola or safflower–you want something that is basic without flavors)
- Place the egg, lemon, mustard, salt and water into your blender or processor and whir up until well mixed and a bit frothy.
- With the motor running, pour in a slow steady stream, the oil. Watch the magic happen as it emulsifies into a thick gorgeous smooth creation.
SERVES: 1 cup
NOTES: Once you have the basic recipe down, you can vary it with the following:
OLIVE OIL MAYO: Substitute extra virgin olive oil for all, or at least 1/2 cup, of the neutral oil.
GARLIC AIOLI: Finely chop 2 garlic cloves and mash with a pinch of salt until it forms a paste; mix with egg yolk before adding oil. Substitute extra virgin olive oil for at least half of the neutral oil.
ROUILLE: Combine a large pinch of crumbled saffron threads with 2 teaspoons boiling water. Let mixture cool completely. Whisk saffron water with 1 egg yolk, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 2 finely chopped garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon tomato paste, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of cayenne. Whisking constantly, dribble in 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil and 1/4 cup neutral oil until mayonnaise is thick and oil is incorporated.
LIME PICKLE MAYO: Whisk in 2 tablespoons finely chopped lime pickle at the end. (Lime pickle can be found in Middle Eastern and Asian markets.)
SRIRACHA MAYO: Whisk in 1 1/2 teaspoons sriracha, or more to taste, at the end.
ANCHOVY MAYO: Whisk in 4 minced anchovies at the end.
WALNUT MAYO: Substitute 1/3 cup walnut oil for an equal amount of the neutral oil.
OLIVE OR CAPER MAYO: Whisk in 2 tablespoons chopped olives or capers at the end.
SPICY CHIPOTLE MAYO: Whisk in 2 to 3 teaspoons chopped chipotle chile in adobo sauce at the end.
ROSEMARY BLACK PEPPER MAYO: Whisk in 2 teaspoons chopped rosemary leaves and 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper at the end. If you like you can add 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest and a minced garlic clove, too.
SMOKY CHILE BACON MAYO: Fry 3 strips of bacon until crisp; chop and set aside. Pour the fat from the pan into a heatproof liquid measuring cup and add enough oil to make 3/4 cup total. Make mayonnaise, omitting mustard and using bacon fat-oil mixture. Stir in chopped bacon and 1/4 teaspoon hot smoked paprika at the end.