There are things I think about all the time. Silly things like do chickens ever wonder “which came first.” Or maybe I ponder questions like why are monkeys the only primates allowed to throw their poop? Or why do I choose to use the word poop in a food blog again?
Yep, these are things that go on in my pretty little head. (I also think if people look at me sometimes and wonder if I own a comb because sometimes my little head isn’t so pretty!)
One of the biggest things I think of is why do people buy mayonnaise? First, I’m not a huge fan of store-bought mayo. I feel the store-bought stuff has a weird sour taste to it. I like sour but not “weird” sour. It is like a sour candy that someone already sucked on. (Not that I’ve eaten a lot of pre-sucked candy.)
Another reason I don’t like store bought mayo is because it is too creamy. I like my mayo to have a little “oomph” to it. When it drips off of my sandwich, I want it to stick to my chin so someone has to awkwardly tell me to wipe my chin. (Okay, this is how I test new friendships….I glop food on my face and see how long it takes people to tell me to use my napkin!)
Finally, I just don’t trust the “good by” dates on store-bought mayonnaise. There is some in my fridge but I’m scared to open it because I haven’t touched it in so long. (There are other things in this house that I haven’t touched in a long time too but let us focus on mayonnaise today.)
All of this came to mind this week because my sister in law was on mayonnaise seeking mission. She was looking for a particular brand that didn’t have soybean oil in it and couldn’t find it. (She is a very determined woman! You should see her gumption when we are looking for crafting supplies!!!!)
My empathetic response was “Why don’t you just make your own?” (I am sure she is tired of me always asking this question but she still loves me anyway.)
Homemade mayos allow you some control in the oil base if you are one of those folks who read labels and are concerned at what goes into your body.
I also understand that some folks hesitate making their own mayo because of the raw egg but it can be done when you buy a decent eggs and practice common kitchen cleanliness (good source, pasteurized, fresh, no cracks, wash YOUR hands after touching shells, etc.)
Now making homemade mayo is easy but it does take a little practice. I remember the first time I made it. I took all the ingredients (egg, mustard, oil) and plopped them in my food process and twirled it. It never came together so I dumped it in the sink.
My next attempt went better because I slowed down a bit. My mistake was when I wasn’t “watching” my mayo and I kept adding the oil because I thought if the recipe said 1 cup….it meant 1 cup. Next thing I know, the whole thing separated and I dumped that in the sink too.
By the time I got my act straight, I had a full sink of the mayo. (Yep, this is where I was going the whole time!) I was making something that really is simple so hard. So I did it one more time…..Olé….I had homemade mayonnaise and so can YOU!!!
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice (fresh!!!!)
- 1 tsp Dijon (Don’t skip the mustard….it works like an emulsifier.)
- 1 cup of oil (I do a mix of olive oil and grapeseed oil. I sometimes use a flavored olive oil if I am looking for a particular profile.)
- Salt and Pepper to taste.
- Place the yolk, lemon juice and mustard in a wide mouth jar or in that tall cup that comes with immersion blenders. (If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can whisk it in a shallow bowl or do this in a food processor.)
- Put the blender so the head is flush with the bottom. Switch the immersion blender on and start drizzling the oil slowly. It should start climbing the side of the jar.
- As the mayonnaise starts to form, slowly tilt the head of the blender to make sure you aren’t missing a drop of the oil.
- If it gets to your desired consistency, stop adding the oil. I usually only add ¾ cup of the oil.
- This is one of those cases where you can overdo it and over blend the mayo.
- Add salt and pepper to your taste. (This is one of those rare things that I never add pepper to.)
The oil is really the huge “likeable” factor here. I’ve made it with sesame oil too for Asian chicken salads and it is out of this world! I’ve also made it just plain vegetable oil and I thought it was “filmy.”
Some folks don’t like olive oil because the flavor comes off too strong but I found mixing it with another oil calms it down a bit.
Now if you happen to add too much oil, it happens. Don’t start over. Whisk up another yolk and slowly whisk it into your messed up mayonnaise. This way you won’t end up with a sink of mayo.