Sorry for the late post this week, I took a day off work yesterday, and hit the Edinburgh Fringe with Cat and The Boy. It’s been a bit of a hectic couple of weeks in one way or another, so I’m going to keep it brief today, with a recipe for mayonnaise. Hellman’s might claim that theirs is the best, but I happen to know that yours is!
Since I came across Felicity Cloake’s recipe in the Saturday Guardian’s excellent FEAST food supplement, back in April, I’ve been messing about with my own mayo (euphemism?). I couldn’t believe how easy it is, and how much better it tastes than anything shop-bought. Whilst Cloake’s recipe got the ball rolling – showing how easy it really is – I have had mixed success using her method. A good mayo contains five ingredients: egg yolk, oil (neutral and evoo) to emulsify, mustard for bite, vinegar for tang, and salt for… saltiness. The simplicity of a good mayo is what makes it such a good base for experimentation!
Cloake’s preferred recipe calls for a set measure of each ingredient to be dumped in a cup, and whizzed with a stick blender, in the mayo equivalent of an all-in-one cake batter. Whilst this is meant to make things quick and easy, I have managed to split two lots this way, and have ended up making more than a litre of mayo trying to save it. I prefer the modern traditional way (modern because the traditional traditional way uses a hand whisk, and I ain’t trying to spend 5 hours making a condiment).
Today’s recipe isn’t about sticking to the measurements, but, instead, about using your senses to gauge how much oil to use, and how long to blitz the mayo for. In part, this is because oils will react differently, eggs will vary in size, and you might like a thicker or looser mayo. You can use a different mustard – I’ve used French, English, and American hotdog (avoid); different oils – I’ve tried rapeseed, vegetable, groundnut, sunflower, and old frying oil (by mistake – really avoid); and different vinegars – I’ve used cider. The headline here, though, is that THIS IS VERY EASY.
All at room temperature (important to avoid the dreaded split):
- Egg yolk
- Dijon mustard (roughly a tbsp)
- White wine vinegar (roughly a tbsp)
- A good pinch of salt
- Neutral oil (150-250ml)
- A good glug of strong flavoured oil – e.g. evoo, or garlic oil
- Tip the yolk, mustard, vinegar, and salt into a food processor bowl. You can use the chopping blade, or whisk here.
- start the processor on a slow speed, and begin to pour the neutral oil in a thin steady stream (see middle pic below). This is the key – don’t add too much at once, but don’t be afraid of this stage.
- Once it has started to emulsify (come together), you can turn the speed up to medium, and pour a little more quickly (see last pic below).
- When the mayo is at the consistency you like, mix in the stronger flavoured oil, and you are done!
There is no end to the ways you can pimp your mayo, but firm favourites in our house include:
- garlic oil, or skinned roasted garlic blitzed through.
- Simple lemon juice
- herbs blitzed through – try lemon and parsley or dill for fish, or basil for sandwiches.
- Gochujang – korean roasted chilli paste, for a deep red sweet spicy hit
**I hope you enjoy messing about with mayonnaise (definitely a euphemism)! Let me know if you come up with any interesting variations!**