Thursday, April 3, 2014
Do you find that the little things in life matter most? I know mayo does not move mountains, but it does transform leftover roasted chicken into fantastic chicken salad. And that giant head of cabbage you could not resist at the farmer's market and don't know what to do with? It becomes a fabulous crispy, crunchy and creamy cabbage salad (that some call cold slaw, but homemade cold slaw slams the stuff you get in restaurants, so I call the good stuff cabbage salad.) Classic potato salad anyone? In these delicious salads the mayo is the star. Great mayo, great salad. Sub-par, store brand mayo, yields a pile of mush.
Sometimes it's just better to make it yourself. That is the case with mayo, and for good reason. For example, the usual store brands use soybean oil (which is GMO, unless it's organic.) Products derived from the soybean also have other health-related issues. Very expensive brands of mayonnaise may use healthier oils, like olive oil, for example, but they may also include other GMO oils too, so read the label. Also, almost all brands contain some kind of sweetener, stabilizers and the ubiquitous "natural flavor," whatever that is.
That said, Mark Sisson, of MarksDailyApple.com,
has produced a mayo using Avocado Oil and no sweeteners or mystery ingredients, so that's a very good choice, should you want to buy good mayo in the store (or online, e.g. "Thrive.com.")
But it's so easy to make it yourself, so why not?
Off to the kitchen to experiment with recipes.
My first attempt at making mayo at home concerned me, due to the raw egg I planned to use; because, well, it's just not mayo unless it has egg! (I tried the egg-free version years ago--yuck.)
I had extra-virgin olive oil so I used it. The mayo tasted grassy. Not what I wanted. The olive oil completely overpowered the taste.
My second attempt succeeded! What a thrill to finally have "healthy" mayo without the sugar (which, of course, you can add if you like it sweet, or grew up in the Miracle Whip camp, heaven forbid.)
My homemade mayonnaise turned out creamy, fluffy and tasty. I used to like regular Hellman's mayo, however, the last time I tried it, I did not like it. It had an odd aftertaste and tasted much sweeter than my palate remembers. My homemade mayo tastes far superior in every way. I immediately used it to make fantastic chicken salad. We loved it! The mayo lasted over a week, and we're still here.
Here's the recipe I tweaked after viewing several recipes online:
An immersion stick blender makes this recipe a snap. (I do not have a regular blender, so have not tried the traditional blender method.)
EASY HOMEMADE MAGNIFICANT MAYONNAISE
2 Large Eggs (but 1 will do too, just use only 1 cup oil and use less salt and lemon.) (see note below)
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon dry yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoon "Real" salt (or sea salt)
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
pinch cayenne pepper
1 and 1/4 cup mild olive oil (or avocado oil, or safflower oil)
Put all ingredients, except the oil, in a tall container.
Use an immersion stick blender to blend ingredients for a few seconds.
Very slowly drizzle the oil while blending, to create an emulsion.
While blending, slowly add the oil to the blender, continuously blending, and voila! You have mayo!
Store in glass container with lid, and refrigerate. Makes about 12 ounces.
(NOTE: To ensure the egg is fresh, submerge it in a glass of water, it must stay on the bottom of the glass. If it rises or floats, don't use it. I also wash the egg shell before cracking the egg into the container.)