Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The miracle that is homemade mayonnaise

Whipping up my own mayonnaise was so simple that I almost feel stupid writing about it. It literally had four ingredients and took me five minutes to make, if that. But I can’t help it. It was so freaking awesome, I felt like I was doing some kind of a magic trick. I whipped an egg yolk with mustard, lemon juice, and oil, and before I knew it, mayonnaise was simply appearing before my eyes, all white and creamy and beautiful in the bowl. I now understand the name Miracle Whip.

A couple of days later, I wanted to do the trick again, this time for an audience. My mother was visiting, and she seemed the perfect person to dazzle with my newly discovered skill.

“Hey mum, want to watch me make mayonnaise?”
It was, I thought, a tantalizing offer. Akin to watching Jesus turn water into wine, no?
She mumbled something about needing to check her email and never materialized in the kitchen. I was, of course, dumbfounded. Aside from growing a human a few years back, this was the coolest trick I’d ever performed! Alas, I’d have to keep my mayo making prowess to myself.
But homemade mayo has a dark side: The specter of salmonella. Luckily, my first batch of mayonnaise was slathered onto chicken and baked, so with that meal, I was free to enjoy my miraculous creation without the worry of bathroom misery and possible death. But I am obsessed with the idea of never buying mayo again, so I need to get my mitts on some pasteurized eggs (which I’ve yet to find in the grocery store).
I’ve heard tell from my kitchen guru Alton Brown that simply leaving your newly made mayo at room temperature for a few hours will help the acid in the lemon juice render impotent any nasty bugs that may have taken up residence in your yolks. And it’s unlikely that your eggs are contaminated anyway. But, being the paranoid mommy that I am, I simply could not give Chloe such a concoction. Ahhh, the moral conundrums of cookery. I will just have to hunt harder for pasteurized eggs and in the meantime, find lots of recipes that call for cooking with mayo.
The homemade mayo recipe was so simple I have it committed to memory, and I typically don't remember much. It tastes so good that it will erase from your mind any yucky mayo associations you have. And it makes me feel like a wizard. Please make it. It will undoubtedly boost your self esteem.
In a large bowl, whisk together one egg yolk (pasteurized for the paranoid), a tablespoon of Dijon mustard, the juice from half a lemon, and a pinch of salt.
Slowly (so slowly that it seems absurd) drip and drizzle one cup of grape seed oil into the bowl, whisking constantly until the miracle occurs.
Tip: Use some kind of a nonskid pad or wet towel under the bowl to keep the bowl still, lest you spin it in maddening circles as you whisk.

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