Thursday, October 27, 2011


Behold! I have worked wonders! Actually, it turns out that making your own mayonnaise is a cinch, at least if you have an immersion blender. I’m not sure why I suddenly got crazy and decided to try this after watching a video at Serious Eats, but I did it and it worked beautifully—like a delicious magic trick! I’d love to whip this out at a party. Even though I technically understand how emulsification works, it still seems bizarre to me that an egg and a bunch of oil can combine in a matter of seconds to form a thick, creamy spread. (You’ll notice mine is a bit freckled, since I only had coarse-grain mustard on hand, but it tasted good all the same.)

The only problem with making my own mayonnaise is that…I don’t really like mayonnaise. I tolerate it a bit more than I used to, and the homemade stuff is certainly far superior to storebought, although I think some claims I’ve seen in recipe comments that homemade mayo will “change your life” or “convert mayonnaise haters” are overblown. I made this on a night I was serving fish cakes, so I used it in the cakes themselves and also in the tartar sauce I dolloped on top, which was noticeably improved by it. But most of the rest of the batch of mayo languished unused in the refrigerator, because I simply don’t have that many recipes that call for great quantities of it and I don’t eat a lot of sandwiches, dips, or creamy dressings. I don’t regret trying it because it was so easy and such a fun discovery, but in the future I’ll be saving it for special occasions. It would be fun to try adding garlic and/or herbs. I can definitely see myself making it periodically throughout the summer, when we tend to have BLTs on a near-weekly basis. I thought I’d perfected my BLT skillz, but this will take it to a whole new level!

1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 tablespoon room-temperature water
1 tablespoon lemon juice (from half a lemon)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup vegetable or canola oil (not olive oil; the flavor is too strong)
Kosher salt to taste

1. Place egg yolk, water, lemon juice, and mustard in the bottom of a narrow immersion blender cup. Pour oil on top and allow to settle for 15 seconds.

2. Place head of immersion blender at bottom of cup (directly over egg yolk) and switch it on. As mayonnaise forms, slowly tilt and lift the head of the immersion blender until all oil is emulsified.

Time: 5 minutes
Yields: About 1 cup
Leftover potential: Good; will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks.


Bridget said...

I really like mayonnaise, but I feel the same way about making it myself - it's fun and easy, but then I have a bunch of mayonnaise to use up, and like you say, it isn't so much better than storebought that I feel like I absolutely have to make it myself.

J said...

So true: The one downside to making mayonnaise is...having mayonnaise! If only I could contract myself out to some lazy, hungry mayo eaters...

I am looking forward to making homemade ranch dressing WITH my homemade mayo, though. That is just too many ridiculous layers of homemadeness to resist.