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Author Barbara Kingsolver can hatch turkeys, raise them, and butcher them, but she couldn’t bring herself to attempt to make mayonnaise with her fresh chicken eggs. Although she describes living the locavore life in her memoir, “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” (see our bookclub class on October 21), and making gobs of homemade tomato sauce, she still purchased bottled mayonnaise.

Too bad. Making mayonnaise is a fast and easy sauce. With only five minutes of effort, homemade mayonnaise makes such a difference in the flavor of food. It’s worth making homemade mayonnaise just for one sandwich or one batch of potato salad. Here’s how:

Crack one egg, discard the white, and place the yolk in a bowl (or blender or food processor). Add a little salt and 1 tablespoon lemon juice or wine vinegar. If desired, add a teaspoon of Dijon mustard. Whisk together and continue whisking vigorously while adding 1/2 cup olive oil in a very slow stream. Voila, mayonnaise! Note: if the the mayonnaise should somehow separate, all is not lost. Crack a new egg and mix the yolk with a little lemon juice. Slowly whisk the separated sauce into the new egg and create a new emulsion from the separated sauce.

The more oil added, the thicker the mayonnaise will become. To achieve a really thick mayonnaise, use a machine. Immersion blenders work really well. Also, all Cuisinart food processors come equiped with a special mayonnaise making tool: the plastic pusher in the feed tube has a pinhole that is designed to drip oil into the whirring eggs.

The beauty of mayonnaise are the endless flavor combinations:

  • add horseradish and tomato puree for Russian dressing
  • add anchovies for Caesar salad
  • add garlic for aioli
  • add chipotle for a crabcake sauce
  • add chutney for delicious chicken salad

For my next BLT, I’ll reach for the whisk, not the Hellman’s!


One Comment for “Mayo Clinic”  

  1. AK

    Ha, Mayo Clinic, very clever. The pin hole in the Cuisinart is clever too — if only anyone knew about it. Or maybe I’m the last one? Great info, many thanks …