Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fat is flavor!

Did you know mayonnaise is over 250 years old--created in 1756 by the French. It was introduced to the United States in 1905 by a German Immigrant and was branded by Hellman's first. We like mayonnaise here in NH in the summer, on salads like potato, macaroni or even on our loved BLT. As a foodie and a fitness lover it is hard to marry mayonnaise with such foods unless it is a "free meal" or something. However, we can use the benefit of the fat on our low fat meals to add that wonderful flavor and full feeling we seem to miss out when we are eating clean.

I do not like the mayo you can purchase in the stores, canola oil is most often times from a genetically engineered plant--corn syrups and artificial colors litter a few brands. Plus, I like my food fresh, don't you? So--I made my own mayonnaise and despite what food bloggers say--it was actually pretty easy and took me maybe 10 minutes to complete! I then added some spice to it and served it up on our Tuna Cakes.

Squeaky Mayonnaise
1 cup organic olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 organic egg yolk
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp water

Add the egg yolk, salt, water and lemon juice to your blender and blend on medium-high speed. Start to s-l-o-w-l-y drip some of the oil into the egg mixture as it is blending. This is where you will begin to form an emulsion and the protein and oil particles will fall in love, hold hands and spin around the bowl in blessed union. In this picture you can see the slow, delicate stream of oil on the side of the bowl. I used a spoon to touch the side of the bowl and tip it so the oil drizzled down the side of the bowl into the eggs.

As the egg and oil fall in love and bind together you can begin adding slightly more oil to the "oil slide" on the side of the bowl. If you look at this picture you can see the increased oil pooling above the emulsified egg mixture.

The advice from many recipes is to slowly add the oil with a dropper, a spoon, a funnel or some other hands on slow adding way. I am lazy and did not want to mess this up by getting too much oil in the bowl--so I just kept the oil pouring onto the side of the bowl while using a simple liquid measuring cup.
Then suddenly--I had a mass of oil and egg in a completely new way--I had mayonnaise!
It felt more glamorous to me than this picture can depict of course. If your mayo turns out too thick you can add more water (slowly of course). Also if you miss the emulsion by adding too much oil or add the oil too fast--you will know as it will be bits of yellow floating in oil. You can repair this by removing the mixture and removing it from the bowl and starting the egg blend again and add this "missed mayo" slowly as if it were the oil.

So--next I decided to add some cilantro and fresh garlic to this beauty and was amazed at the wonderful taste! My husband loved the dish as well! Normally he is not a big tuna cake fan--see what a little fat can do to a dish?

Oh and a tip on the garlic--do you still peel your garlic? I do not, I smash it on the counter and scare the peeling right off the bulb. It is an easy tip to try:Place your garlic bulb on a cutting board and use the flat side of a butcher knife and smash the bulb. The peelings separate very easy from the flesh and saves time from trying to actually peel the skin. I then pressed the garlic rather than chopping it because I wanted the juice to really permeate the mayonnaise.

The cilantro was fresh and I just diced it up finely and stirred it in. However, this is what I chose to add: this is your sauce! Think outside the box--what flavor are you adding this too? Fish--try some dill--chicken--basil and sun dried tomato--it has endless choices as the mayonnaise is the blank canvas for your dish to be created on!

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  1. I agree, making your own Mayo is soooo easy! I don't know why I don't make it anymore....hmmm, you may have inspired me! It just has such a rich flavour when you make it yourself.

  2. I like using only a little bit of mayo but it has to be used in moderation in sandwiches. I do not like when dishes are over killed with mayo.

  3. Made this a few weeks ago and it is super good!!