Homemade Mayonnaise

Last week Amy came over and since apparently we like to make things that involve a lot of whisking, we decide to try making mayonnaise. It turns out it’s really easy to make, though I’m not entirely sold on this homemade mayo stuff. We started with Alice Waters’ garlic mayonnaise recipe from The Art of Simple Food, which calls for 1 egg yolk, a little water, a couple cloves of garlic, a little salt, and a cup of olive oil. We were both surprised that it didn’t call for any vinegar, since mayonnaise is usually so tangy, but we decided to go ahead and see what happened.

What we ended up with had a strangely rubbery texture, a slightly sickly green tinge, and it pretty much just tasted like olive oil. We added some more salt and a few splashes of red wine vinegar. I was a little nervous about the color of the vinegar, but it turned out that the red vinegar neutralized the greenish tint of the olive oil and turned the whole thing a much more respectable color. The texture improved and it tasted a little better, but the flavor of the olive oil was still overpowering. The big mistake was using extra virgin olive oil. It might have been ok with a lighter olive oil, but the safest bet might be to use a more neutral-tasting oil.

  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • a couple pinches of coarse salt
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • 1 cup of oil
  • 1 tablespoon red or white wine vinegar

Mash the garlic with the salt to make a smooth paste. Whisk together the egg yolk, garlic paste, and water. Now very, very slowly pour the oil into the egg mixture while continuing to whisk constantly. If you add the oil too quickly at first it it may separate. Add it as slow as you can at first, drop by drop even, until it starts to thicken up. Then once it really gets going you can add the oil a little more quickly. Once all of the oil is incorporated, whisk in the vinegar.

Then we made deviled eggs. Hard boil some eggs and slice them in half lengthwise. Scoop out the yolks and mash them with some mayonnaise, some mustard, a little cayenne pepper, and some salt. Fill the egg whites with the yolk mixture and sprinkle with a little paprika.

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