May Yo Never Run Out of Mayo Again

Have you ever made something you just knew was going to be your new favorite thing and when you tasted it you realize it's a bomb? OK, maybe it's not a bomb, but it is certainly not the dish you had hoped it would be.

That's exactly what happened to me this week. I was so ready for the oven-roasted- butternut-squash-fries-with-sage to be my elixir for the day. Alas, they were rather a disappointment. David and I both scoffed at them and Nacho and Guero got the remains in their dinner bowls. Which they licked clean, I might add - though it was a generous combination of salmon kibble with ground bison and butternut squash with sage. They eat well, what can I say?

So there went my idea for a new blog post. What was I going to cook now? Rather than react, we simply went shopping. To several grocery stores and to the book store...in search of a new cookbook for inspiration. I needed something to make me feel better.

I'm not saying I never have culinary failures, but it is a rarity. And more to my sense of "taste" than my ego. When I make something new, I get excited and ready for a new flavor sensation...something I can make once a week until I get tired of it and never want to see it again for another year. I do this with Brussels sprouts when they first hit the markets. And spinach. And tomatoes.

So I came home with a new book about cooking (more on that in a later post)and sat down with the book and the Wednesday New York Times Dining section.

Mark Bittman's feature article was about the virtues of the food processor and how he cannot live without it. Honestly, neither can I. My relatively new machine sits on the kitchen counter and is used several times a week. Because the food processor can make a "perfect mayonnaise" in one minute, Bittman believes it is "worth the price of admission."

That was it! The inspiration I needed.

For months, and I do mean months, I have been telling David I want to make my own mayonnaise and he poo-poos the idea and says, "It's not going to taste like store bought mayo. You're probably going to be disappointed."

Well, I was already disappointed that my oven-roasted butternut squash fries with sage sucked, how much more disappointed could homemade mayo make me?? Plus, it's homemade mayo, for goodness sake.

Once we tasted the homemade mayo and realized how spectacular it tastes, we started laughing as we recollected the many times we could not make "something" because we had no mayo. And to think, we could have had homemade mayo all along.

David took full blame for us not having tried this recipe before and now we are both glad to know we can have mayo anytime we want. I hear that "Hellman's" is getting nervous.

Buen provecho!

Open-faced sammy with roasted turkey breast
slathered with homemade mayo and a twist of cracked pepper.

Homemade Mayonnaise
The Cowgirl Gourmet (http://www.thecowgirlgourmet.blogspot.com/) got this recipe from Mark Bittman's New York Times column The Minimalist on September 15, 2010

Print recipe

Makes 3/4 to 1 cup

The versatility and simplicity of homemade mayo will amaze you. Just get the best organic farm fresh egg you can find as the egg is raw (and with the recent egg contamination scare, please do not risk salmonella) and some neutral flavored oil such as canola, grapeseed or vegetable.

Once you get the process down, you can add different dimensions of flavor by tossing in a little wasabi to spice up a Japanese meal, chipotle for a Mexican flavor, curry powder to go with Indian food, herbs, roasted red peppers or just some garlic to make an aioli. So have some fun with this recipe.

1 egg, organic and farm fresh, please!
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar, sherry vinegar or lemon juice
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup oil (something very neutral such as canola, grapeseed or vegetable oil; although if making aioli you can use half olive oil)

To the food processor, add the egg, vinegar or acid of your choice, dijon mustard and salt and pepper.


Turn the machine on and pour the cup of oil in the "food pusher" hatch so it slowly drizzles in while the machine works it magic.


Walk away for one minute and when you return you will have a perfectly gorgeous and light yellow-tinted homemade mayonnaise. Taste the mayonnaise and adjust salt and pepper if needed.


Mayonnaise will last for several weeks in the refrigerator.


Bittman's recipe includes five ideas for variations as well as a long list of 13 more flavor combinations, which I have included here because I love Bittman and all of his wonderful ideas!

Garlic Mayonnaise (Aioli) — Add 2 or more (as many as 8) cloves of garlic, to taste. Oil should be made up of at least half olive oil.

Chile Mayonnaise — Add 1 or 2 dried chilis, like ancho, Thai, or chipotle, soaked in warm water until soft, then drained, patted dry, and stemmed and seeded. (Or use 1 canned chipotle and a little of its adobo sauce.)

Roasted Pepper Mayonnaise — Add 1 roasted red, yellow or orange bell pepper.

Green Sauce, French-Style — Add 1 sprig tarragon, about 10 sprigs of watercress (thick stems removed), 10 chives and the leaves of 5 parsley stems.

Cold Mustard Sauce — Use 1 heaping tablespoon Dijon-style or whole grain mustard. Thin with a tablespoon or two of cream or sour cream to desired consistency.

13 More Ideas for Flavoring Mayonnaise

Add any of the following ingredients, alone or in combination.

1. A pinch of saffron.
2. Up to 1 tablespoon minced strong fresh herb leaves, like rosemary, oregano, tarragon, marjoram, epazote or thyme.
3. Up to 1/4 cup mild fresh herb leaves, like parsley, cilantro, chives, chervil or basil.
4. Up to 1/4 cup minced sweet pickles.
5. 2 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste.
6. 1 teaspoon wasabi powder, or to taste.
7. 1 teaspoon or more grated citrus zest.
8. At least a teaspoon prepared horseradish.
9. A few dashes of Tabasco, Worcestershire or other prepared sauce.
10. Up to 1/2 cup toasted chopped almonds, walnuts or pecans.
11. 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger.
12. Up to 2 tablespoons chili powder.
13. 2 or 3 anchovies, blended in at the very end; be sure to omit the salt.
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