To continue my discussion about sauces, I thought that I should talk about emulsified sauces. There is debate if mayonnaise is an official mother sauce or is it a Sister Sauce.
A Sister Sauce you ask? Yep, it is like a Mother Sauce but cuter and wittier. (I just made that up to annoy my siblings). Seriously, mayonnaise is made in a similar manner as the Mother Sauce Hollandaise but it never got recognition from the French to be considered a Mother Sauce.
I’m really not sure why it wasn’t recognized because it really is the essence of what a Mother sauce is all about. It is a base for a plethora of other sauces such as aioli, remoulade, tartar and verte. If it looks like a Mother Sauce and emulsifies like a Mother Sauce, shouldn’t it be called a Mother Sauce?
Unfortunately, Auguste Escoffier (the chef who is credited for naming the Mother Sauces) passed away in 1935 so I’m not going to win this argument with him unless I have a séance.
So for the sake of arguing with a dead guy, let’s just say mayonnaise is sauce number six. With that said, an emulsified sauce is a combination of two liquids that don’t really mix well together. In this case, I am talking about mixing an oil with egg yolks.
To go into the science a little bit for you, there are 5 points to consider when making an emulsified sauce. The first is that you need one liquid that breaks into millions of tiny drops (oil). The second thing that you need is another liquid that surrounds all those little drops (water). Are you yawning? Stop, this could be on Jeopardy one day. The third thing you need is an emulsifier (something that loves oil and water like egg yolk). The fourth thing is a thick base. And finally, some temperature control.
It may sound like homemade mayonnaise is going to be difficult but once you see the recipe I used in tonight’s potato salad, you will want to make it all of the time.
Potato Salad with Homemade Mayonnaise
Homemade Mayonnaise (makes about 1 ½ cups)
2 large egg yolks
2 Tbsp lemon juice (or white wine vinegar)
½ tsp sugar
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt
1 cup vegetable oil (or refined oil of your choice) (Unrefined oils like extra virgin olive will separate after refrigeration)
Immersion Blender Directions
- Mix egg yolks, lemon juice, sugar, salt and mustard in container.
- Add oil and allow egg yolk mixture to settle on the bottom.
- Insert immersion blender so bottom of blender is touching the bottom of your container.
- Pulse slowly until you see formation of the mayo. Once you see the thickening product, start pulsing while raising the blender up and down. In a minute or two, you will have the best mayo you’ve ever eaten.* Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the actual mayonnaise. I will try to make more in the next couple of days and insert it into the post.
2 pounds Idaho Potatoes, peeled and diced (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup fresh mayonnaise
1/3 finely chopped green olives (I don’t add salt since the briny olives seem to add enough salt flavor)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
½ cup finely chopped celery
1 finely chopped shallot
3 hard boiled eggs, sliced
Paprika to sprinkle on top
- Place potatoes in large pot and add enough water to cover potatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Cook 13 to 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain.
- In a large bowl combine mayonnaise, green olives, pepper, celery, shallot.
- Add potatoes and one of the eggs.
- Toss to coat thoroughly. Top with egg slices and sprinkle with paprika.
The homemade mayonnaise adds a whole new flavor to the potato salad. It will make you start singing “Mayo, Mayaaaa-o. Daylight come and me want some more potato salad.”
*Some of you may worry about the raw egg. You can heat the egg mixture before you add the oil in a double boiler to a temperature of 150º (65.6C). This will take about 1 minute. Stir constantly and keep a close eye on the temperature or you will have to start over.