We don’t have to hide the mayonnaise…
I know–we’re all staring at the same photo of a lone plop of homemade mayonnaise all by itself. I see it, too. But there’s a reason behind this simplicity, and the reason is this: dolling up mayonnaise all fancy-like is fine, but it’s not the only way we can go. There’s something to be said for letting a culinary staple just… be itself. So, here it is. Our kind and lovely mayonnaise, not folded alongside bright herbs, not cut with extra lemon juice and roasted garlic, not hidden as the backbone for a surprisingly assertive Caesar dressing (punched up with anchovies, please. No? Yes!)–just the mayonnaise here, holding its own…
…but perhap now you can imagine the possibilities? Why a pint of this may become your newest fridge friend who is at the ready to lend a hand when you cry out “too dry!” “too bland!” “where’s the beef!”
Grab your reading glasses in the mayonnaise aisle
I urge you to bring a curious eye to the ingredients label of the next mayonnaise you purchase in a store. What are the first ingredients? See any soybean or canola oil? Can you even see any mayonnaise without these ingredients? Yeah, didn’t think so! In our U.S. we seem to have an industrial fascination (or perhaps, a fiscal intimacy…) with companies that produce cheap oils–often known as (and marketed as) vegetable oils. That’d be cool if the vegetables they were procuring these oils from actually were potentially oily themselves! Think about a soybean or a kernel of corn–are they very oily? Not so much. It doesn’t take long to begin to recognize how much processing must occur in order to derive any sort of oil from these. Unfortunately and consequently, the type of oils most readily available in these are also the most fragile oils, polyunsaturated fats.
This means that through the dastardly process of pulling oils from corn and soy, any oil we do get is likely rendered rancid by the time it’s bottled and ready to be sold to consumers. How do we not notice? Because companies can clean up the oils by bleaching and deodorizing them before bottling. I know! It’s such a silly process to begin with, and likely has deeper roots in commodity crops and trying to make an extra buck from them. Curious to learn more about that process? Michael Pollen’s Omnivore’s Dilemma is an astute and compelling read.
What’s an omnivore in a dilemma to do?
Luckily, we’ve got a few options these days to opt out of the rancid oils. We can either choose to make our own mayonnaise, or we can purchase mayonnaise made without rancid oils. For the purchasing route, here are my fan favorites:
- Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayonnaise (also in a totes tasty Chipotle flavor)
- Chosen Foods Avocado Oil Mayonnaise (also in multiple flavors, one of which is Black Garlic and seems amaze).
But hear ye, hear ye. There are times when the pocket, with a book, like a true pocketbook of yore, is thin and weary. And perhaps is not inclined to shell out the cash for a fancy jar of mayonnaise made from not-so rancid oils. Luckily, making the stuff is easy and much less expensive. Once you have that jar of your own, homemade variety, it’s time to use that creature up and let yourself revel in the mayonnaise glory.
And for the mayonnaise nay-sayers who have happened to read this far (how? why do that to yourself) listen… there are plenty of other sauces and condiments to play around with. No need to get myopic! Now then, on to the recipe for our mayo fiends.
- 1 whole egg pasture-raised or otherwise high quality
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice apple cider vinegar or rice wine vinegar also work well
- 1 teaspoon smooth mustard dijon or yellow tend to work well
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup avocado oil if you like a spicier and even a tad bitter mayonnaise, extra virgin olive oil will work, too
- Combine all ingredients except the oil in either a blender, food processor, or in the bottom of a cup with tall edges that an immersion blender will fit into (usually a wide-mouthed mason jar works well).
- If using the blender or food processor, gently pulse on a few times to combine the ingredients. If using the immersion blender, gently pour the oil on top of the first four ingredients.
- For the blender or food processor, now turn the machine on and gently stream in the avocado oil, allowing the speed of the machine's blade to emulsify the oil trickling in with the egg and mustard. If using the immersion blender, place the stick all the way to the bottom of the container, then power on the immersion blender and slowllllly pull the blender up while it's running, creating the emulsification gently from the bottom up.
- Turn off any machine you've used, taste the mayonnaise, and adjust the seasoning if needed. Transfer the mayonnaise from the blender or food processor into a jar to store in the fridge. If you've made the mayonnaise with an immersion blender, just get a lid on the container and you're good to go!
- This makes approximately 1 cup of mayonnaise, which will last about 7-10 days in the fridge.