After making meringues for a Seder on Sunday, I found myself staring at six lonely egg yolks.
What should I use them for? Scrambled eggs? Ice cream? Another olive oil cake?
How about mayonnaise?
No way, I thought! All my cooking life, I’ve heard how hard homemade mayo is. How you have to drip oil into eggs excruciatingly slowly. How the concoction breaks and becomes an oily mess with the merest provocation. How homemade mayo’s taste simply isn’t worth the effort when Duke’s and Hellman’s are a grocery trip away.
Still … it was a challenge. An unknown. Could I prove the naysayers wrong? Throwing culinary caution to the wind, I decided to try my hand at mayonnaise.
Now, for all you purists out there, I have no idea if I did this right. I didn’t consult a cookbook. I didn’t search the web. I simply thought back on the techniques I’ve read about and watched on TV.
I plopped my egg yolks in a food processor, squeezed in the juice of a small lemon and sprinkled in a tablespoon or so of fresh thyme leaves. Seasoned everything with salt and pepper.
I whirred the mixture, then grabbed a bottle of grapeseed oil. With the machine running, I sloooooowly drizzled in the oil, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides.
After awhile of whirring and drizzling, the mixture started sounding different. It looked different, too: Instead of splashing in the processor bowl, it looped around in pretty yellow ribbons.
I took the top off and stirred. The mix was thick and sunshine yellow.
I tasted. It was fresh and lemony.
That night, we ate panfried cod with dollops of mayo on top. Amazing! The mayonnaise was fresh and bright and a perfect complement to the delicate fish.
Next day, the little boy used my mayo as a dip with crackers. The husband mixed it into a can of tuna. I slathered it over toast, then topped it with turkey, cheese and leftover broccoli rabe.
Oh, the possibilities! We can use this mayonnaise as a dip with homemade oven fries! As a condiment with steamed mussels! As a sauce for rare roast beef!
If it lasts that long. But once it’s gone, I’ll just make another batch. Turns out, the naysayers were wrong. My fear of homemade mayo was simply the stuff of myth.
So is yours!