There are many things I used to buy pretty much every grocery store visit that I never buy any more. Eggs of course, but mayonnaise I bought regularly for a long time. The process just seemed too magical and prone to error. I had tried once and ended up with an oily goop of separated nastiness. Once I started having so many eggs—and I that know they come from healthy chickens—I decided to try making mayo again. After playing around a bit with the basic ingredients I found my favorite and now I never buy mayonnaise.
Basic Homemade Mayo:
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
About 1 ½ cups neutral flavored oil*
*I use “light” Olive oil because I try to steer clear of industrial processed oils and yet I find regular olive oil to have too much of a flavor for mayo. Experiment to find out what you like best—I have heard that coconut oil is disastrous though so I have never tried it.
First you crack one whole egg and one egg yolk into a food processor or blender. Some recipes call for either one egg only or two whole eggs but I’ve found that two whole eggs makes the mayo a bit too liquidy and only one egg isn’t as rich. I won’t be offended if you experiment and find a different favorite. Add the salt and vinegar and process/blend for about ten seconds. Then, while the machine is running, start dribbling the oil in.
Once the oil is poured in it will have magically become mayonnaise and look like this.
Once I have a batch of mayo I usually split it into at least halves and leave one plain and add stuff to the other batch to make flavored mayo.
1. Any herb that floats your boat.
2. A spoonful of the adobe sauce from a can of chipotle chiles makes an amazing chipotle mayo
3. A bit of dill, ginger and siracha make a great compliment to salmon
4. The addition of a few tablespoons of spicy mustard makes a great pre-prepped sandwich spread
The great thing about homemade mayo (besides the taste) is that it doesn’t have all those chemicals in it. Have you looked at the label of a jar of Hellmans or Miracle Whip? It is an impressive chemical preservative roundup. Of course, the bad thing about homemade mayo is that it doesn’t have any preservatives which means it needs to be used up fairly quickly. The general recommendation is a week, but I’ve stretched that to two weeks. I’ve never experimented beyond two weeks because food poisoning just doesn’t sound all that fun. So, how do you get rid of a jar of mayo in less than two weeks if you don’t make sandwiches every day?
If I’m getting close to that week mark and we have a lot of mayo left I try to make something that uses a lot up at one time–like chicken salad. I’m sure you all have your favorite chicken salad recipe but I have to pitch our favorite. Seriously, it follows my formula for great recipe discovery in that it has all these ingredients thrown together that sound awful. Find a recipe like that and you know it is really good. My eldest told me once that the only problem with this salad is that no matter how much I make it isn’t enough. If you’re being healthy, serve this with lettuce as a wrap but for a truly sublime experience serve on a croissant. For some other chicken salad ideas: Favourite Chicken Salad Recipes
Another way to use up mayo—Make ranch dressing! I usually opt for a balsamic and olive oil dressing for salad but my kids love any kind of ranch dressing. Add equal parts of any of the flavored mayos and plain yogurt then thin with milk (or milk alternative of your choice) and add any additional seasoning you want and BAM ranch dressing. My kids can pack away a serious amount of raw veggies and greens if I make a batch of ranch dressing.
In a pinch I mix a bit of the flavored mayo with canned tuna, salmon or hard boiled eggs to make a quick and easy lunch option.
Have a favorite salad recipe that uses mayo? Post it here—I’m always looking for new ideas.