Make your own mayo

I’m on the warpath against high fructose corn syrup.

In a recent ingredient-reading flurry, I discovered that two of the condiments I was using on sandwiches had HFC in them: sweet pickle relish and mayonnaise.

Store bought relish and pickles are easy to replace—I now buy them at the local farmer’s market. I pay more, but I’m satisfied knowing that the product is free of cheap, unhealthy sweeteners. Plus, the flavor and freshness are superior to anything I’ve tasted from the grocery store.

But HFC-free mayonnaise is slightly harder to come by, so I’ve been experimenting with making my own. It isn’t hard to do. The only drawback is that it doesn’t keep for as long as commercial brands. Meaning, it can’t sit in the fridge for two months. Raw eggs spoil. And with no preservatives, it’s not a good idea to keep homemade mayo around too long.

I’ve used a combination of grape seed oil with a splash of extra virgin olive oil with excellent results. I like fresh lemon juice for its bright flavor. I love being able to control the consistency, and the pride I feel in making something that tastes so fresh. What I don’t love is how much whisking it takes to get it to emulsify. So, I talk loved ones into being the whisk wiz, which allows me to add the oil slowly.

I’m not above using bribery to get an extra hand in the kitchen.

Sandwich anyone?

 

Here’s the Epicurious mayonnaise recipe I use:

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
  • 3/4 cup canola oil, divided

Preparation

Combine egg yolk, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in medium bowl. Whisk until blended and bright yellow, about 30 seconds.

Using 1/4 teaspoon measure and whisking constantly, add 1/4 cup oil to yolk mixture, a few drops at a time, about 4 minutes. Gradually add remaining 1/2 cup oil in very slow thin stream, whisking constantly, until mayonnaise is thick, about 8 minutes (mayonnaise will be lighter in color). Cover and chill. do ahead Can be made up to 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.

Makes ¾ cup.

See the recipe at: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Homemade-Mayonnaise-241868

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“The Good Cook” reviewed

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I can’t say enough good things about “The Good Cook” by Anne Willan. It is, in a word, wonderful.

Here’s the Amazon description:

A veteran cooking teacher and cookbook author offers a complete set of recipes useful for both novice and veteran chefs, and even more importantly, an important primer on the skills every chef needs to know, all lavishly illustrated to make the cooking as easy as possible.

I found this hardcover treasure at my local library and, sadly, had to return it. But I’ll be purchasing my own copy because it’s one of those books that a cook should have close at hand. Not only are the recipes easy to follow, but Willan describes and shows cooking techniques so effectively that I was eager to get in the kitchen.

This isn’t Willan’s first book on cooking, it’s just the first one I’ve read so far. But it won’t be the last.