Thursday, February 12, 2004

Mayonnaise Recipe


From the "I-don't-know-how-I-missed-it" news department:

HOUSTON, Dec. 4 -- A Texas woman was sentenced to 10 years in jail Thursday for running over the manager of a McDonald's with her car because she wanted mayonnaise on her cheeseburger.

First off this was in Texas, so normal rules do not apply. I'm not talking about running people over or even eating at McDonald's, but actually putting mayonnaise on a cheeseburger. Let me explain it this way: burger=juicy and greasy, melted cheese=greasy, mayonnaise simply NOT NECESSARY.

Mayonnaise is a really great sauce though and shouldn't be relegated to only sandwiches. One of the five French "mother sauces" along with hollandaise it's an egg and oil emulsification. If you've only ever had store bought do yourself a favor and make it from scratch. It makes a great sauce for grilled fish or poached chicken, shrimp, and steamed vegetables like asparagus and artichokes. You can really dress it up by using fresh citrus juices like lemon or orange or a whole host of other flavorings like fresh green herbs, wasabi, chile powder, curry, or fresh garlic. While traditionally made with a whisk, it's super easy to make if you have a food processor or blender, especially one of those stick blenders.

Here's how I do it:

Mayonnaise

Ingredients

1 cup vegetable oil (don't use all olive oil, but a little is ok)
1 egg, room temperature (very important)
1 1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard or dry mustard powder
salt and pepper to taste

Optional additions
1-2 T chopped herbs (tarragon, parsley, chervil or a combination are all good ones)
1 smashed clove of garlic
1/2 t finely grated orange rind
1/2 t curry powder
1 T ketchup and pinch of cayenne pepper

Instructions

With a "stick" or immersion hand blender:
Put all ingredients into the beaker. Position the handblender at the base of the beaker. Pressing the switch, keep the handblender in this position until the oil emulsifies. Then, without switching the handblender off, slowly move it up and down until the mayonnaise is thoroughly combined.

You can also make this in a traditional blender but you need to very slowly drizzle the oil into the running blender--you must add it very very slowly to get it to emulsify.

After making the mayonnaise you can add any ONE additions and blend thoroughly.

By the way, any one of the flavored versions are divine with french fries. Some might say the french fries are just an excuse to eat the mayo...