The ease and beauty of emulsions: Traditional Mayonnaise

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Recipe By Maggie Lyon
Staff Writer

Umayop next is mayonnaise. In this quantity, which makes about ¾ of a cup, I suggest doing it by hand to get a feel for it. This all comes together in no more than three or four minutes and can be stored in an airtight container in the cooler for about a week.

Mayonnaise can sometimes be filed under “mysterious and creamy white condiments” next to such things as sour cream or cream cheese. I’ve encountered many people zealous about their food not touching mayo, under any circumstances, otherwise it’s as good as dead to them. However, I’ve always been in love with it, and have never understood such claims. I completely side with the Dutch on this one: mayonnaise all the things!

Mayonnaise is simply a thick emulsion (an emulsion being the suspension of a water based substance in a lipid) of egg yolks, vinegar, oil and a touch of water. The technique of drizzling the oil into the yolks, water and vinegar creates a thick and creamy sauce; perfect on a burger, with fries, on a sandwich, or as the base to salad dressing. Mayo on its own is fantastic, but you can dress it up easily by adding any number of spices or fresh herbs. Some of my favorite additions are white anchovies, a ton of lemon zest, parmesan cheese and smoked paprika, which makes the best twist on a Caesar salad I’ve ever had.

Safflower Oil                       About ¾ cup
Egg Yolks                            2 each, pasture raised
Dijon Mustard                   1 tsp
White Vinegar                   1 Tbs
Salt                                       a good pinch
Fresh Pepper                     TT
Water                                  as needed

Begin with both of the yolks and the dijon in the bottom of a large bowl with an almost completely rounded bottom, then whisk them to combine. Very slowly, begin adding the oil, drop by drop; at first, the process is slow.

Once four or five tablespoons have been successfully added, begin drizzling the oil and whisking vigorously. At this point, the mixture is thick and fully emulsified. Add the vinegar, salt, and pepper.
Whisk to combine. Notice the change in color from a yellow to a pale yellow. Then, thin with water for the consistency you desire.

Quick Fix: Add another room temperature yolk to the broken mayo; whisk vigorously, and add small amounts of warm water.

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The ease and beauty of emulsions: Traditional Mayonnaise