27.Jul.2010 at 27 | Amber
For the love of mayonnaise, I stayed up way past my bedtime tonight. And for the sanity of the five readers of this blog I will give you my official Mayo recipe right now, so that if you don’t feel like reading the rest of my shenanigan-filled evening you don’t have to.
Florence + The Mayo
1 large (pasteurized) egg yolk
3/4 cup safflower oil
1/2 tbsp lemon juice (fresh lemon)
1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
Start your iPod. Make sure that your egg yolk and vinegar/lemon juice is room temperature. (If you had your eggs in the fridge, which I hope to baby jesus you did, then you can put your mixing bowl in hot water to warm it up and then put in your egg yolk). If you had your oil in the fridge…why?
Mix the lemon juice and vinegar together. Add mixture to egg yolk and whisk until blended. Add salt. Whisk again.
Then begin to add your oil drop by drop. DROP BY DROP. WHILE WHISKING YOUR LITTLE HEART OUT. This is not a suggestion. This is a requirement. I don’t care what you do with your mayonnaise, I think that artistic freedom is especially important in the production of the best sandwich condiment ever…but if you don’t add the oil drop by drop AT FIRST you will not create an emulsion. If you do not create an emulsion, you will never get mayonnaise.
You must whisk until you feel that your arm is going to fall off. You must whisk and add oil drop by drop until you create a thick cream out of the egg yolk, oil, vinegar and lemon juice. If at some point during this process you ask yourself what those little chunks in the bottom of your bowl are…they are not by the way, lemon seeds, because you carefully picked those out before you poured in your lemon juice…those chunks signify your broken emulsion. If you are THINKING you might have already broken your emulsion, if your music was pumping a little too fast and you accidentally squeezed a little too much oil into your mixture within the first five minutes, get out. Get out while you still can. And start over. Yes it is depressing but do it.
Eventually (usually after 15 minutes and monotonous oil dropping) you will realize it is easier to mix your oil into the yolk mixture. You will feel elated. You will start dancing to your iPod and the whisking will start adhering to the beat. You have created an emulsion. It looks like lemon pudding. DON‘T STOP WHISKING (you can relax a little). But please, add oil in a thin stream and continue whisking until you run out of oil and you want to collapse on the floor.
Add sugar. Whisk. Carefully. You are in delicate condition.
Tada! Congratulations. Leave your mayo on the counter for 1-2 hours then refrigerate. Your mayo will only last for about 2 days so use it or lose it.
Now for a few helpful nouns, verbs and conjunctions. I do “realize that each of us is a sacred, unique snowflake of special unique specialness” and therefore I get quite offended when people try to tell me what I DEFINITELY DO NOT DO and ABSOLUTELY NEED TO DO when it comes to making mayonnaise. Except some of this advice is important.
The first attempt at mayo this evening sucked. I realized my emulsion had broken right away because I was dancing too much. Sorry. The second attempt left me with a super emulsion and a liquid mayo substitute that would have been great had I needed a Vinegar Mayo Sauce for my Penne Pasta dish. But I did not and it was an epic fail. But I didn’t know why. I had heard that I needed to make sure my eggs were VERY FRESH. But how fresh? These are only a couple days old and they were definitely still good but were they good enough for mayo? Well in order to tell you what will work and what will not, I sacrificed a limb (very literally) and had a third go at it in order to determine what was the cause of my thick-less mix.
I had gotten discouraged and thrown out my lemon juice remnants and after Tara convinced me that for the good of culinary science I had to stay up past my bedtime, I fished the lemon heels out of the garbage and squeezed the last drops from their tattered shells. Yes I did this. I put trash in my mayonnaise. And it still tasted good. And Tara told me to do it and she still ate it and said it was great so shut up. It is not required that you put your lemons in the trash before adding to the mayo mix, but maybe you want to try it, I no longer know where the secret lies, it’s like 1 am.
It could have been the eggs but it also could have been the fact that I added an extra tablespoon of the lemon juice-vinegar mixture at the beginning. Turns out it was the latter. I strongly advise (but will still let you experiment) that you do not add more than a tablespoon of vinegar and/or lemon juice to your mixture before the oil commencement. It will not thicken properly and you will have wasted your time and vestiges of strength.
Lastly, I think that the most important ingredient is sometimes the blame for the result. I have been listening to Florence + The Machine for the past few experiments and it definitely has an effect on the whisking and dropping procedures. Sometimes I get a little excited and sometimes I get a little sidetracked and when these things happen I sometimes find myself staring at mayonnaise and sometimes find myself staring at egg-drop soup. Either way, I blame Florence. But I also commend her when it turns out great.
I’m thinking next week I will listen to Rage Against the Machine and see if I can’t make mayo in half the time.
Very soon I promise we will talk about sandwiches. Well, I will talk about sandwiches and you will listen, and you will tell me what you think and I will react or ignore you depending on what you say. In the meantime, we have a mayo base for all future mayo recipes and I am looking forward to finding out what they are. Tootles.