Saturday, February 28, 2009

Transformations - 1

Real mayonnaise is amongst the best tasting stuff imaginable. It is a little molecular miracle, and there is something very satisfying about the process.
You will have taken a tasteless fluid oil and transformed it into an ethereal sauce through craftsmanship and care. Add a tablespoon of minced shallot, and maybe a little extra lemon juice for an extraordinary dipping sauce for an artichoke, or blanched and shocked vegetables, or to put on some boiled new potatoes. While citrus fruit is really good (try using limes, and adding chopped fresh dill after making, then letting it sit overnight and use as a sauce for cold salmon.) Don't forget that vinegars can be used as well as long as the acid content is there. Magical stuff.

1 large egg yolk

5 grams salt
5 ml water
5 ml lemon juice (or 10 for a lemony mayo)
5 grams Dijon mustard (optional, but mustard assists emulsion)
250 ml vegetable oil (or EVOO if you like it heavy, or 50/50)

Then you have to:
Combine yolks salt, water and lemon juice in a medium bowl. The bowl must be very clean inside. Fold a hand towel into a ring on the counter and set the bowl in this ring to hold it steady while you whisk. Using a sauce or balloon whisk, mix the first 5 ingredients together.
Add the oil slowly while whisking vigorously. Measure out your oil into a cup that pours well in a very thin stream. You must add all the oil slowly at first, and increase the speed to a thin stream as the emulsion becomes creamy. From the start, the mixture should be thick enough to hold its shape and look luxuriously creamy. If you add the oil too quickly, it will break - that is, it will turn soupy. When all the oil is incorporated add the remaining lemon juice to taste. If it is too thick, it can be thinned by whisking in a little water.
If it breaks, put a teaspoon of water in a clean bowl and start the process over by dribbling in the broken mayonnaise while whisking.

Or, you can follow the same procedure using an immersion or regular blender, but the oil must be added slowly, always. If you are concerned about salmonella, just let it sit for 2 hours before using.The acid will eliminate any chance of salmonella being present..

There is a culinary myth with origins in France that women who are on their monthly cycle (being delicate here) cannot make mayonnnaise. Is it really a myth? Anybody?

1 comment:

hnd said...

It's definitely a myth!!!