Thursday, April 19, 2012

Home Made Mayonnaise- My Way

As condiments go, mayonnaise was never my favorite.  I can tolerate a bit in potato or chicken salad.  But ask me what I want on a sandwich and I'll tell you either spicy mustard or nothing.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I'd rather have a dry sandwich than one with a layer of greasy, slippery mayo.  Blech!  Oh, and please, don't put it on my burger.  In fact, I'd prefer BBQ sauce to any of the conventional burger toppings.
My husband, on the other hand, is a tried and true mayonnaise lover.  If I switch brands, or even try to slip in one of the lower fat varieties of his favorite, he can tell.  It's some kind of supernatural talent.  Or maybe it's all in his head.  As soon as he sees the label he's already decided that he will be disappointed.  It's infuriating!  So imagine my surprise when he slathered some of my home made mayonnaise on his BLT the other night instead of his beloved.  Score one for me!

If you've never made, or even tried, a home made mayo then you have no idea what you're missing.  It's worlds (dare I say light years) better than the stuff from the supermarket.  It tastes fresh and tangy and not at all greasy.  It puts the other stuff to shame.  And I, for one, will continue my boycott of store bought mayonnaise in favor of my own garlicky, herby, silky, made-to-order version.  It's great on sandwiches, burgers and even as a dip for veggies like steamed and grilled artichokes or asparagus (just do as the restaurants do and call it aoili!).

Home Made Mayonnaise
Makes about 2/3 cup

There are an infinite number of ways you can customize this recipe.  I find that I usually end up with herbs and some smoky spices going into mine.  Sometimes some roasted garlic takes the place of  the raw garlic if I've thought ahead.  Or perhaps a roasted or chipotle pepper makes its way in instead of the herbs.  It's really all up to you!

1 egg yolk
1 clove garlic
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp water
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup flavorless oil (such as canola or grapeseed)

Optional add ins:
2 tbs coarsely chopped fresh herbs (my favorites are basil, parsley, thyme and/or chives)
3/4 tsp paprika, smoked paprika or piment d'espalette
1/2 of a roasted pepper, chopped
1 chopped chipotle pepper
several cloves of roasted garlic in place of the raw garlic

Add all ingredients except the oil into a food processor or blender.  Blend until completely incorporated.  With the motor running, slowly add the oil in a stream through the food tube of the processor or the hole in the top of the blender.  The mixture will become thick, or emulsified.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.  You can also add a bit of water (maybe another tsp) if the mixture seems too thick for you.  Refrigerate until ready to use.  The mayo will keep for several days in the refrigerator.

If you don't have a food processor or blender you can still make your own mayonnaise.  Simply chop the garlic and any add in ingredients very finely and place them in a medium bowl along with the egg yolk, lemon juice, water and salt.  Then blend them together using a whisk.  Slowly add the oil whisking continuously.  It takes a bit of elbow grease, but it's do-able.

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