Monday, 29 July 2013

Is Making Mayonnaise Easy?

I'd say it is! ~

I'm a lover of mayo.  I'd request my mom's egg salad for my last meal.  But, I must make a confession!  The mayonnaise I loved was Miracle Whip.  I know it's just an edible oil product and has nothing to do with actual whole food, but I loved that oily, fake, stuff!

The only thing that made me give up my dirty, little secret was my commitment to not use eggs from cruel factory farm conditions. When Hellman's switched to free range eggs, I switched to Hellman's.  Then I found out that mayonnaise has EDTA in it to stabilise the oil and preserve the shelf life.  If you want to find out why this is a bad thing, click here.

In the back of my mind was a picture of my grandma making mayonnaise and serving it in a little, crystal bowl at dinner.  Why not give it a try?  I didn't have my grandma's recipe and took the first one I came across in my cookbooks.

Gather your ingredients. Yeah, I know the eggs yolks look like a bum. ~

You will need: 
2 egg yolks (warmed to room temperature)
1 whole egg (room temperature)
1 TBS. lemon juice
1 TSP. Dijon mustard (optional and I didn't use it)
1/2 TSP. salt (I used sea salt)
white pepper (tastes the same but you don't have black bits floating around)
2 cups oil  

My grandma whisked her mayo by hand but I have the luxury of a food processor.  You could use a mix master or blender for this as well.

Put egg yolks, whole egg (do I have to tell you to remove the shell?), lemon juice, salt, pepper and any flavour you want to add to your condiment into a bowl and whip until creamy.  This took about 10 seconds. ~

I could have made a special mayonnaise by flavouring this with the Dijon mustard or finely minced garlic or basil or dill for Aioli.  Really, any thing you dream up is okay at this point.  I wanted a very basic mayonnaise and left the embellishment for another time.

You can use any healthy oil for the next step.  An oil that stays liquid when refrigerated is recommended to stop the mayo from separating in storage.  For that reason, you are supposed to use regular olive oil instead of extra virgin olive oil or a similar liquid oil such as sunflower.  I only had extra virgin olive oil and that's what I used.  The mayonnaise hasn't separated in 24 hrs. and even if it did, I could reconstitute it by adding another egg and whisking it again.

The next step sounded tricky and wasn't at all.  While the machine is running, start feeding a very tiny stream of oil into the egg mixture.  Keep an eye on it to make sure the oil is blending with the eggs.  Add about 10% of the oil and stop pouring while the machine whisks for another 30 seconds.  Start pouring again and repeat. Continue to add the oil in the stop/start fashion until the mixture begins to thicken.  Then, you can add the oil in a continuous, thin stream until it is all mixed with the eggs.  I found I had reached the consistency of mayonnaise I wanted without using the full 2 cups of oil.  

That looks about perfect to me and took about 5 mins. to make from start to finish! ~

Mayonnaise is very forgiving.  If you get it too thick, add some more lemon juice and whisk to thin it.  If it's too thin, add some more oil.  The key to having your mayonnaise turn out great is to use very fresh eggs. The simplest way of testing for freshness is to cover the egg with water.  A very fresh egg will lay on its side. A less fresh egg will stand up and bob in the water.  A spoiled egg floats on the top and shouldn't be used at all.

How did the mayonnaise taste?  Delicious! ~

And that, my friends, brings us to the end of the ~

I've tried a few new things that I know will be part of my daily lifestyle.  None of them were overly time consuming or difficult to do.  I've had great conversations with the people who grow and handle the food I eat and great conversations with my readers about this challenge.  

No matter how busy my week became, I've managed to stick with the challenge and eat well although I never had more than 30 mins. free to make a meal.  I'm hoping I can keep that in mind the next time I think I only have time to grab a sandwich.  The truth is, I feel great!

Thanks for cheering me along on the challenge and, in the words of the immortal Julia Child, Bon Appetit!

I'm sharing this great recipe with:  Funky Junk Party Junk