Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Olive Oil Mayonnaise

Who doesn't like mayonnaise? This creamy condiment is actually even better when it is homemade. Don't be intimidated. It is actually very easy to make.

I have made mayonnaise by hand before, but I decided to use my new toy instead. (Thank you Zia S. and Zio M. for the great gift of the KitchenAid stand mixer!)

To make the mayonnaise, you will require one raw egg yolk. Many people are leery, with good reason, about using raw egg products. These products can harbour harmful Salmonella bacteria. However, my science background has come to good use. Salmonella, when present, is a usually found on the shells, as the hen can pass it down when laying her eggs. Eggs are normally cleaned thoroughly and washed before they get to the general market. However, as an added precaution, when I am using raw eggs, I like to place the egg in boiling water for approximately 45 seconds to make sure there are no harmful bacteria left.

To the egg yolk, add the following ingredients:
- a pinch of salt
- a small amount (between 1/8 and 1/4 teaspoon) mustard (Use the good stuff!)
- a few drops of vinegar (Any white or light vinegar will do. I used white balsamic.)

Give the base mixture a whirl, so that all of the ingredients are incorporated together.

Next, turn the mixer to the high setting. Slowly begin streaming olive oil into the whirling machine. The operative word is "slowly"! You want to be able to make a steady and thin stream of olive oil.

Also, be sure to use a high-grade, extra virgin olive oil. This mayonnaise is all about flavour and you will not get any from a wimpy oil.

Within no time, and instantly, the mixture will thicken. You will be left with fresh mayonnaise.

Use a rubber spatula to gather all of the mayonnaise and place it in a container for use. Be sure to place it in the fridge if you are not using it the same day.

The mayonnaise is wonderful and creamy by itself. However, you may want to infuse it with some additional flavour. For suggestions, try using:
- sun-dried tomatoes
- garlic
- lemon juice or lemon zest
- herbs including parsley, oregano, thyme, basil, or my favourite, rosemary

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