Slaw Project 2: Mayonnaise

Phase 1 in the Slaw project seemed to be making my own mayonnaise.

Of course you could do store-bought, but, c’mon, I’m Crummycook, I can’t just do that.

So Debbie and I set out to make mayonnaise from scratch over the weekend.

Or I set out to do it and she helped, criticized, and encouraged.  All at once.

The core of mayonnaise is emulsification: you whip the oil into an emulsion with egg yolk (in some recipes) or whole egg (in others) and a bit of acid (lemon juice, vinegar, Whatever).  By dribbling the oil in slowly while you whisk (or blend) the heck out of it: mayonnaise.

First thing we tried was a Mark Bittman recipe for blender mayonnaise out of the “How to Cook Anything” cookbook.  Foolproof, he says.  Egg yolk, Dijon mustard, lemon juice.

Well, foolproof it might be, but this fool was not able to get it to work.  After whirling away for almost five minutes I had a yellow mess of oil, an encouraging garlic smell, and no emulsification.

So we read a bunch of stuff in our cookbooks and the ‘tubes about the vicissitudes of mayonnaise, and then tried again.

This time a recipe with a whole egg from The Joy of Cooking (this link is the closest I could find to it online).

Maybe it was the whole egg.  Maybe it was the room-temperature ingredients.  Maybe it was slower dribbling.  Maybe it was starting with a small bunch of stuff in a small(er) blender bowl.  In any case, it worked.

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Not a great photo, but you can see the pale yellow emulsion in the plastic container.  And it tasted great.

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