Saturday, April 2, 2011

Recipe: Be smooth in the kitchen. Make homemade mayonnaise!

If you want new ideas, look in old books. – Hanno Ehses

Photo: little blue hen, Flickr ccl
Homemade mayonnaise is so different from purchased mayonnaise (and "Miracle Whip®) it difficult to even put them in the same category. When you make your own you can flavour it with whatever you wish for endless variations.

But what's the basic difference? Here's how I would describe the difference. Take a finger full of vegetable shortening. Put it in your mouth. Now chew it. Not very pleasant, right? That's the taste of store mayonnaise, at least to me. Whipped vegetable fat. Mmm. 

Now picture something that is light and creamy with a hint of lemon, or chipotle, or even basil. With no overbearing oily taste. That's homemade mayonnaise. And it's actually very easy to pull off. All you need is a blender and some pre-chilled ingredients. It takes about 5 minutes to pull together, maximum. 

Also, do the cost calculation. A 890ml jar of Hellman's Mayonnaise in Halifax's major grocery stores is $4.99. In comparison, 3L of Unico vegetable oil is in the Stupidstore flyer this week for $5.49 (save $2.50). This recipe takes 1.5 cups (or 340ml) of vegetable oil ($0.62). Double the recipe to get the Hellman's jar ($1.24). There is the cost of the vinegar, but it's only 1/4 cup...

I would classify making mayonnaise a "dying art." I have no idea why, as it's unbelievably easy. Do it once and you've got the skill forever.

The recipe I am posting is from one of the first exposures I had to cooking. I was still living at home, so it was many moons ago. The book is a two volume set called Meta Given's Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking, JG Ferguson & Assoc., Chicago, USA, Revised Edition 1955. 

Both volumes comprise 1,502 pages, with very few pictures. A veritable treasure trove of forgotten culinary delights. I will be hand picking recipes from these volumes in the future as well.

As a side note, since it was published in 1955, it has a ton of those "mid century modern" entertaining recipes that we associate with the United States at that time. Modern, quick and convenient. I'll be sharing some of those as well.

If you're hardcore, you can make mayonnaise with a whisk.
My limbs are puny and why do this when a blender works?
Photo: devlyn, Flickr ccl
Basic Homemade Mayonnaise
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt
2 tsp confectioners' sugar
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 egg yolks, large eggs
1/4 cup chilled vinegar (see below on "variations")
1 1/2 cups canola or other salad oil

Place dry ingredients in the blender and pulse to mix. Add the egg yolks and blend well.

Add 1/2 tsp vinegar and blend on high. then add a few drops of oil (just a few drops at first). Blend on high. Then add more oil, a few drops at a time, until about 2 tbsp of oil have been incorporated.

Then add in a little vinegar, then a little oil. As the mixture thickens, you can add more oil. Add vinegar to thin, and oil to thicken. Continue alternating vinegar and oil until all is incorporated. 

Makes about 2 cups.


Lemon mayonnaise
substitute lemon juice for vinegar in the recipe

Chipotle mayonnaise
add 1 chopped, seeded chipotle pepper in adobo to final blending

Fruit salad mayonnaise
Add 1 tbsp currant jelly to final blending

Basil mayonnaise
Add 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil to lemon mayonnaise


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1 comment:

  1. Two questions- how long does this keep? Is there a substitute to make this lower fat like my Lite Miracle Whip? Or should I just shut up and make the full fat stuff...mmmmmmmm.