Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Homemade Mayo and Honey Mustard

This was the first time I'd ever made homemade mayonnaise. Everyone said it was easy, and that it was way better than store-bought (which I definitely didn't doubt.) But I always imagined, no matter how silly I knew it was, that I would end up with a Miracle-Whip jar's worth of something that would only last a few days. Of course, now that I've made it I know that I can make a reasonable amount of mayo for our small family. And also that it is definitely easy and definitely delicious.

Mayonnaise only has 3 ingredients--egg, vinegar, and oil. Add some garlic and you can call it an aioli, which sounds much fancier than "mayo". You can make it by hand, in a food processor, in a blender, or with a mixer. It's foolproof, and how cool will you feel when you can brag that you're bringing homemade mayonnaise to the party?

Crack an egg into your food processor (or blender, or bowl, or mortar and pestle if you so choose. If you've got an active kid who likes to help in the kitchen, I bet you could put it in some kind of plastic container with a lid--without the garlic--and have them shake it up until everything is combined.)

I have been on a big kick of using farm-fresh eggs. I got spoiled this spring; a friend who raises chickens gifted me with as many eggs as I could use, and I got used to seeing the beautiful dark yolks. I've tried using grocery store eggs since then, but the pale, yellow yolks make me feel like something not quite right.

I also learned that you don't need to refrigerate unwashed fresh eggs. They have an enzyme from the hen that coats the outside of the shell, and it keeps the eggs safe at room temperature. The reason you have to refrigerate store-bought eggs is that they've been washed, which means the enzyme has been washed off. Regardless, I still refrigerate my eggs, and if they're from the farm I give them a quick rinse and dry right before I use them, even if they look clean.

To your egg, add a liberal splash (a tablespoon to a tablespoon and a half) of white wine vinegar. You could also use cider vinegar or lemon juice.)

I also dropped in a small garlic clove. If you really like garlic, you could add another clove or two.

Replace the lid to the processor and turn it on until everything is combined. My little processor has two settings--chop and grind. I used the grind setting but I don't think it really matters. The liquid helps the processor chop the garlic clove into teeny, tiny invisible bits.

Now, here's the part where recipes will tell you to stream in the oil. My little processor doesn't have the ability to stream in liquids. There's no hole in the lid, and it won't run without the lid. Instead, I just slowly added the oil a bit at a time and ran the processor thoroughly after every addition to make sure it was well incorporated. I think I split the oil into 5 or 6 additions.

After all the oil is added in, you've got yourself some homemade mayo! Add some salt and pepper and you're in business. The mayo may seem a little thin, but once you put it in the fridge it'll thicken up.

You can use the mayo for sandwiches or salads (although never forget that it does have a raw egg in it. Don't bring potato salad with homemade mayo in it if the salad's going to sit in the hot sun for a long time.) can take some of your mayo and use it for  honey mustard.

Recipe: Homemade Mayonnaise
1 egg
1 to 1 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar (or some other acid, such as lemon juice)
1 garlic clove
3/4 c. oil (I used vegetable oil; you can use any kind of oil you like. Just keep in mind that darker oils, like olive or walnut, will have a stronger taste. Lighter oils, like canola, vegetable, or grapeseed, will have a more delicate flavor.)

Combine egg, vinegar, and garlic clove in food processor until garlic is incorporated. If you're using equipment that will allow you to stream in the oil, slowly stream in the oil while mixing. If you're using something that won't allow you to stream the oil, add it slowly in small increments and blend really well after every addition. Salt and pepper for flavor.

Refrigerate right away. Mixture will thicken in the fridge. Makes approximately 1 cup. Use within 3 days.

Now onto the honey mustard!

When I was a kid, there was a restaurant we went to all the time. It was a family restaurant that had a bird theme--stuffed birds and bird decorations were everywhere. My favorite thing to order was chicken fingers. Mostly it was because they served it with this delicious honey mustard. It was mayonnaise-y and thick. They closed a few years ago, but I haven't forgotten that honey mustard.

This will require 1/4 c. of your homemade mayonnaise. I just put 3/4 of it in the fridge and left the rest in the food processor.

Add a healthy dollop (2 tbsp or so) of dijon mustard to the mayo. You could use yellow mustard, too, but using the dijon makes me feel like a grown-up.

Usually at this point I add a liberal dose of horseradish. Unfortunately our horseradish was looking past its prime. So instead I used some wasabi paste that we had on hand.

Wasabi is traditionally made from a Japanese horseradish, but most horseradish people have usually had (including at sushi places) is made from a mix of a more ordinary type of horseradish and  additional ingredients to make it more like its authentic cousin.

My husband likes wasabi. A lot. When we go for sushi he will finish off that mound of wasabi paste they put on every plate. I guess he likes clear sinuses.

I also added in some honey. I like it sweet. If you're not so in to the sweet dips, then I'd start with a little honey and work your way up. No point in wasting perfectly good ingredients because you added too much! I'd guess I put in a couple teaspoons.

Finally, I add in some cayenne pepper. It gives it a nice pink-ish tinge, as well as another layer of spice. The wasabi gives you some biting spice while the cayenne gives you some heat.

Blend everything together and it's ready for you to dip your french fries into!

Recipe: Honey Mustard
1/4 c. homemade mayo
2 tbsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. wasabi or horseradish
1-3 tsp. honey, to taste
Dash of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in food processor and blend. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Took me a minute to figure out the restaurant reference. Nice entry about the honey mustard.