I love Mayonnaise, and it's one of the very few sources of industrial seed oils left in my diet or my household. In the blog post about good fats, I wrote about finding avocado oil mayonnaise at the local health food store, for the steep price of $14.99. Turns out I didn't like it at all - very flat flavour. So I went back to my beloved Hellman's Real Mayo, with olive oil, feeling somewhat virtuous (for the olive oil part) and somewhat guilty (about the canola oil part). It's a blend with canola oil - I know that - but until yesterday, I wasn't aware of the actual ratio of that blend. A new client, who is a very inquisitive sort, had previously called the company and asked. The olive oil comprises a measly 8% of the oil content of the "Olive Oil Mayo". The other 92% is canola oil - highly processed, deodorized, and a genetically modified crop. This makes sense given the relative costs of the two oils.
Canola oil is made at a processing facility by slightly heating and then crushing the seed. Almost all commercial canola oil is then extracted using hexane solvent which is recovered at the end of processing. Finally, the canola oil is refined using water precipitation and organic acid to remove gums and free fatty acids, filtering to remove color, and deodorizing using steam distillation.
Notice the words "hexane solvent", "organic acid", "filtering" and "deodorizing using steam distillation". That's a lot of processing and a lot of heat being applied to unstable unsaturated fats. Yuck!
So today, on a dark, damp and uninteresting Saturday afternoon, I got out the ingredients and my stick blender and started playing with making mayo. Several Youtube videos showed me the basic process.
My first mayo attempt was a classic blend using a whole egg, dijon mustard, lemon juice and avocado oil. It took about 1 minute to assemble, about 30 seconds to blend into mayo magic, and about another minute to clean up. Wow - why haven't I been doing this all my life? Into a mason jar it went, and into the fridge.
Since I had already dirtied all the dishes, why not try another batch? This time, I went out on a limb - half bacon fat and half extra light olive oil - to make bacon mayo. Can you imagine the subtle bacon flavour in egg salad or over tomatoes? Oh, yeah!
I had to melt the bacon fat, mix in the olive oil and let it cool slightly before making the mayo, as I didn't want to cook the egg before blending. It turned out yummy as well, and has been pressed into immediate service as a dressing on a broccoli, bacon and cheese salad for supper.
Here's the basic recipe, but feel free to go crazy with experimentation...
Stick immersion blender
Tall container with a diameter that just holds the blender (usually comes with it)
1 tbsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
1 tsp dijon or other mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup oil of choice (extra light olive oil, avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, bacon fat, liquid coconut oil - lots of possibilities, but use a neutral tasting oil for a regular mayo)
Crack egg into blending container, add mustard, salt, and acid of choice. Add oil on top. Place blender in the container right to the bottom and turn on. It will take a few seconds for the whiteness of the emulsified "mayo" to develop. As it does, slowly bring the blender up towards the surface, tipping it slightly to get the liquid oil on the top to incorporate. The sound of the blender will suddenly change as the last of the liquid goes into solid, and you're done! Easy peasy!
Transfer to a glass jar for storage in the fridge. Mark with the date if you are someone who forgets things like that. Despite the raw egg, it will be fine for over a week.
Here's an interesting use for mayo:
Take a piece of fresh or thawed fish filet and brush it thickly with mayo using a basting brush. Mix about a half cup of grated parmesan cheese with about a tsp of Italian seasonings (oregano, basil, garlic powder, etc) on a plate and press the brushed fish, mayo side down, into the cheese mix to coat it with a thick crust. Place crust side up in a baking dish and cook at 400-425 degrees F for 10-20 minutes (depending on the thickness of your piece of fish - if thawed, it should be about 10 minutes per inch at the thickest part).
Now I can feel fully virtuous about my mayo, and speak with real experience when I encourage clients to make their own. A good use of a dark and damp afternoon...
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I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!