Cooking is like any other passion - you do it for a while, you challenge yourself, read as much as you can and with a lot of practice, you succeed. Your omelets are fluffy, sauces are creamy, steak is the perfect shade of pink. But every once in a while, like after you’ve made a crispy batch of bacon, and it’s waiting to accompany lettuce and tomato on sour dough bread, you make your own mayonnaise. And your confidence is knocked down a few notches.
Like they say in fishing, mayonnaise is all in the wrist. Following an old Paul Prudhomme recipe, I whisked four egg yolks for what seemed like forever, waiting for them to foam. Not so much. I took a break, wiped sweat off my brow and tried again.
Ok so maybe I needed to try adding the next few ingredients, and maybe the volume would give me more to whisk, and maybe that would help the thickening, foaming process that was definitely not happening in my bowl.
The last resort? Stick the bowl full of egg, lemon, salt, pepper and oil in the fridge and see if it just needs to chill out, kinda like me at the moment.
Not. A. Chance.
So it’s with a large bowl of yellow goop that I open another cookbook, written by the women that some people consider the authority on mayonnaise (and plenty of other recipes I’ve yet to master), Julia Child. God bless Julia and her recipe, Mayonnaise in the Food Processor. “Certainly the easiest way to make mayonnaise,” she writes. At this point, I’m welcoming easy with open arms, and tired wrists.
The recipe below yielded around two cups of yellow, mellow, creamy mayo with little effort and only a few ingredients. Tip: have each ingredient prepared and measured, ready to be poured into the processor at the appropriate time. The mayo will thicken in the processor quickly, and you want to be ready to add ingredients as it’s happening.
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
½ teaspoon of salt (you may need more to taste)
1 tablespoon of lemon juice (you may need more to taste)
2 cups of high quality olive oil, peanut oil or vegetable oil, or a combination of these
Add egg, yolks, mustard and salt into the food processor and blend for 30 seconds. Add lemon juice, blend for another 30 seconds. In a very thin stream, start pouring your oil into the mixture as it’s blending. Add all the oil this way. When you’re done, stop the processor, open and check the consistency and taste of your mayonnaise. My consistency was perfect at this point, but it needed a little more salt and lemon. Let the mayo chill in the refrigerator for at least half an hour before serving.