Homemade Mayonnaise

Homemade mayonnaise is a treat when a dish features mayo as a key component.  It changes a BLT from a ho-hum everyday sandwich to a well-crafted delicacy.  The key to success here is patience.  The oil must be added ever so slowly to allow emulsion with the egg yolk to occur.  Otherwise, you end up with watery, “broken” mayo, which can be saved, but not easily.  Check out Michael Ruhlman’s excellent book “Ratio” for all you need to know about mayonnaise (and lots of other things!)

Basic mayonnaise

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup good extra virgin olive oil

Gently beat the egg yolk in a small bowl, then add the lemon juice, water and salt.  Mix lightly.  Wrap a kitchen towel around the bowl for stability.  While whisking continuously, very slowly begin to add the oil, almost drop by drop, watching for emulsion, or slight thickening, to begin.  Continue adding oil very slowly, whisking constantly, until stiff peaks begin to form.  Watch the video

Variations to basic mayonnaise are endless.  Add finely chopped shallots and cayenne prior to adding the oil for a lemon shallot mayonnaise.  Add cumin, coriander, cayenne garlic, lime zest and jalapeno to basic mayonnaise after it is whipped for a chili-lime version.

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