I was chatting to a friend last week who was clinging onto the cliffs of sanity by his fingertips: He had run out of tinned tomatoes.
“Jeez man, I’m traumatised,” Jason said in a funk. “I HATE running out of tinned tomatoes. It’s like running out of teabags. It just shouldn’t be allowed to happen. Jeez!”
Jason was particularly perturbed at the time because he had been planning on making spaghetti bolognese that evening for dinner. Not without those tinned tomatoes he wasn’t and so with further ado, he set sail for the shops so as to remedy the… trauma.
I know what he means too: Tinned tomatoes are ever-present in our house, as are those teabags he mentioned and the hoarder I am, I don’t even check as to the tinned tomato stocks in the house when I’m buying. I might have as many as half a dozen tins in the house at any one time. But for me, the absolute worst thing I could run out of is mayonnaise, seeing as how I eat it at least once a day every day. If I went to the fridge for mayo at lunchtime looking to fire up a tuna sarnie or an egg mix and the fridge was bare, I’d be in a fair aul funk meself.
That is why I’ve started making my own mayonnaise. Actually, I tell a lie: I started making my own mayonnaise because it’s creamier and tastier than the shop-bought variants. I feel that if I’m eating mayo all the time, I might as well be eating the best kind and without any of the quirky additives.
You might be reading this thinking: “Dunno, man. That sounds like a wile hanlin altogether. Jeez!”
But not a bit of it. What would you say if I told you it takes less than a minute to make the finest mayonnaise available to mankind?
Seriously. The most difficult part of the home-made mayo process is pulling the ingredients out of the food cupboard which in fairness, shouldn’t be too taxing if your arms are still in full working order. Happily for me too, this same process is practically foolproof.
If you’ve ever made mayo before you’ll know that it can be time consuming. Using a whisk and dripping oil into a bowl might well give you a good workout, but it tends to take forever and if the emulsion doesn’t do what it should, the end result can be heartbreaking.
Why should you make mayo from scratch? Well, if nothing else, for the taste. Compared to the mayonnaise that comes in a jar or a squeeze-y bottle, the real stuff is much, much different. It’s like the difference between instant coffee and the freshly ground stuff. As well, this is a good trick to have in your repertoire should you run out when looking to make a tuna sarnie or an egg mix.
In reality though, this balm for your tastebuds is so delicious, you could use it as a dip. Best friends with chicken, cheese, ham, tuna, potatoes, chips, celery, cardboard… the list goes on.
For this method, I use a hand blender, AKA the stick blender and it has never failed me yet, except the time I made mayo with a duck egg. Yes, it was inedible.
The key here is to use the receptacle that came with the blender as it should fit the head of the hand blender with little wriggle room. The tighter the fit, the better it’ll work.
1 whole egg
1 tsp of white wine vinegar
1 tsp of lemon juice
quarter tsp of salt
quarter tsp of white pepper
half tsp of Dijon mustard
220ml of a NEUTRAL oil (I’ve used sunflower and rapeseed in the past)
Crack the egg into the jar/receptacle and add the vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper and mustard. Lastly pour in the oil and let the whole show settle for a minute or two. Place the stick blender into the receptacle, right down at the bottom and then give it full power for at least ten seconds until everything begins to emulsify into a young mayonnaise. At that stage you can move the blender up and down a few times until it’s all combined. Scrape out into a bowl, check the seasoning (it might also need a squeeze of lemon to cut through the oiliness) and that’s it.
Tah-dah! Real mayonnaise.
And since you’re making this at home, once you get the knack you can change things up with a little garlic or pesto or extra mustard and a touch of honey for sweetness or taragon… the list goes on.
The finest mayonnaise available to mankind and it’s at your fingertips.