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Pantry Basics

Tale of Two Mayos
June 17, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

It’s the small things we tend to take most for granted. The same can be said about garnishes and condiments. Take mayonnaise for example. Even high-end sandwich shops use the standard jarred stuff, lavishing all the attention on the main ingredients. Being a purist, I set out recently to make mayonnaise from scratch.

Many recipes call for using a hand whisk when making mayonnaise. Switching to a food processor seemed like a natural and easy change, or one would think. My first attempt to use technology was a disaster, and so was my second, resulting in oily egg yolks that never emulsified. The key ingredients, egg yolk and oil are humble but oh so temperamental. The key is to slowly add the oil, so it still took about 20 minutes.

Then I had an eye-opening experience. I watched Chef John’s video on making mayo with an immersion blender. It was a mixture of revelation, and I don’t know why anyone would want to spend 20 minutes on something they can so easily make in just one. Yes, one mere minute is all it takes to enjoy creamy homemade mayonnaise. And for my next trick, I’ve even included an egg-white only, reduced oil version.

Homemade Mayonnaise
Makes about 3/4 cup
I decided to keep my original ingredients and simply use Chef John’s technique. Don’t tell him I said this, but he’s a genius.

To Make Traditional Egg Yolk Mayonnaise:
1 large egg yolk, save white for later use
3 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon smooth dijon mustard (not whole grain)
3/4 cup canola oil

To Make Egg White Mayonnaise:
1 large egg white, save yolk for later use
3 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard (like Colman's)
1/2 cup canola oil

  1. In this exact order, add the egg yolk, lemon juice, salt, mustard and oil to a cup, preferably the one that is included with your Cuisinart Immersion Blender. Let the ingredients sit for one minute, as the egg yolk settles to the bottom.
  2. Place the immersion blender into the cup and starting slowly pulsing the mixture. In a few seconds you will see the mayo begin to form at the bottom. You can move the immersion lightly up and down to finish. The whole process should take no more than one minute. Scrape mayonnaise into a container; cover tightly and store in refrigerator for up to one week.

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