Friday, July 6, 2012

Simple Sauces Part 3–Mayonnaise

I'm going to stop you right now. Mayonnaise is a sauce, got it? When it's not white fluff out of a jar, that is.
Seriously. Real mayonnaise (NOT Hellman's "Real" Mayonnaise) is a rich, yellow sauce for bread, potato salads, and many other things. It is made with egg yolks; thus it tastes eggy and delicious.
Mayonnaise is simple, too. In the time it takes you to go to the store and buy mayo, you could make a potato salad with homemade mayonnaise. And contrary to popular belief, you don't have to add the oil drip

Mayonnaise (adapted from The Best Recipe):
Makes about 3/4 cup


1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar (sherry vinegar works too)
3/4 cup corn oil (or any other tasteless oil)
1 teaspoon water


Whisk egg yolk vigorously in medium bowl for 15-30 seconds.
Add salt, mustard, vinegar, and lemon juice and whisk until thickened and brightened in color. There is no such thing as over-whisking in this step.
It should be brighter.
Add water and whisk.

Add 1/4 cup oil in a slow and steady stream.

Whisk vigorously until oil is completely incorporated and mixture is thickened, about 1 minute.
It should be thicker than this.
Add another 1/4 cup of oil the same way. Whisk until incorporated.

Add last 1/4 cup all at once and whisk until completely incorporated, about 30 seconds.
Apparently, I failed to whisk it enough.

While this was definitely the best mayonnaise I've ever had, taste-wise, the texture wasn't quite right. It was more of a liquid than a spread, which I will take the blame for. I probably didn't whisk enough. However, that actually made it better for use in a potato salad that night. It was a lot easier to stir in.
My laziness in whisking paid off!
The only modification I made was adding the water, which I decided to do after reading the New York Times' article on mayonnaise. It apparently keeps it from "breaking," or separating before it's supposed to.
Enjoy your mayo!

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