I have only two items on my culinary bucket list. They are to make homemade mayonnaise and to make homemade pasta. Today, I sort of completed the first one.
Let me give you some back story. A few months ago, Laura and I started reading the ingredient lists on the backs of products we regularly purchase at the grocery store. Much of what we read seemed to be okay. Ketchup wasn’t too bad and canned beans were nothing to write home about, besides the crazy sodium content. In general, we buy a lot of fresh products anyway, so there isn’t much of a list. Lettuce is lettuce and eggs are eggs. What tripped us up was salad dressing and mayonnaise. I stopped eating store bought salad dressing some time last year primarily because of the price. As I explained it to Laura, “All I want is a nice vinaigrette. I can make that fairly quickly.” I already have a few cans of olive oil at my disposal in the cabinet, so I simply mixed some of it with lemon juice, water, salt and pepper and stored it in one of those bottles I told you about earlier.
Today, I tried my hand at making some homemade mayonnaise. The results are encouraging, but not exactly all the way there. The problem I faced is something I learned about after I tasted the final product. A slight hint of bitter aftertaste. I know, you’re probably asking yourself how in the heck bitter can find its way into mayonnaise. Well, let me show you a quick blurb from the food lab at Serious Eats:
“You see, extra-virgin olive oil droplets are composed of many tiny fragments, many of which are bound tightly together, preventing our taste buds from picking them up. Whip the olive oil with enough vigor, by say, using a food processor or blender, and you end up shearing those bitter-tasting fragments apart from each other. The result is a mayonnaise with a markedly bitter taste. Not only that, but these tiny fragments actually decrease the efficacy of emulsifiers like mustard or lecithin, making your sauce more likely to break.”
I believe this is where my bitter issue came from. I used extra virgin olive oil because my intention was to make a legit mayonnaise. Something a tough guy could tell his friends about. In my haste, I didn’t research the ingredient.
I’m going to go through this quick and simple recipe that I compiled from a few sources and then I’ll follow up in my usual style of showing you some photos of my process. After that, I’ll let you know what I plan on doing to correct the problem. It’s super easy.
Makes approximately 3 cups
1 Large Egg
1 Tablespoon Pub Style Mustard
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar (Mine came infused with tarragon)
1 Teaspoon Sea or Kosher Salt (or 1/2 teaspoon of regular salt)
A Dash of Pepper
1 Tablespoon Honey
2 Cups Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (this is where I went wrong)
There are only a few short steps to prepare this recipe. I’ll go over them below.
Add Everything But Oil to Food Processor
I started off by adding some of the ingredients to a bowl.
After I had everything I needed in there, I wondered why I didn’t just place it directly in the food processor. Then, I remember that I wanted to take pictures of each step. They didn’t come out the way I wanted, so I left them out. The egg is nice though.
The food processor is fine to use in this case because there is definitely enough volume of ingredients to mix. With some recipes, it’s overkill to use this type of equipment, but that was because their output wasn’t nearly as much as this one.
To mix the ingredients, I pulsed the processor a few times. It didn’t take much more than that.
Mix While Adding Oil
The trick with this recipe is to add the oil to the mixing ingredients slowly. Every single page I read regarding this recipe said to do this. Apparently, it won’t come out properly if it’s added all at once, although, I don’t have evidence of that because I didn’t try it. I’ll take the internet’s word for it though.
By the way, I picked up this glass measuring cup this afternoon. I bought it for $4.99 at a local variety store. That’s less than half the cost of what it goes for on Amazon.
NOTE: At this point, I should have added light, pure or refined olive oil. There’s a difference between this type of oil and the extra-virgin variety. To learn more, take a look at this resource:
After about a minute of mixing and slowly adding the oil, this is what I ended up with.
It’s thick and even after a few hours, it’s still holding strong.
I have to tell you that even with the slight bitterness from using extra-virgin oil, this mayonnaise is delicious – very creamy. I’m disappointed that I haven’t made it sooner in life. I’ll go ahead and eat this batch and then make my next one, using the correct oil, and update this post with the results. I’m looking forward to it.
Well, here you go. It looks a lot like regular mayo, but it surely doesn’t taste like it. By using the pub style mustard and the honey, the flavor came alive. What’s also really nice is that by making homemade mayonnaise, you can season it to taste. You can even add to the recipe if you want.
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