Mayonnaise is a simple and delicious condiment that adds flavor and comfort to most foods. It is highly versatile and works well as a spread on sandwiches, as the prime component of dips, as the binding ingredient in egg salad, chicken salad, or tuna salad, and as a tasteful baste on roasted meats.
If you buy Mayonnaise in the store you are shorting yourself in two ways. First, you are overpaying. As you will soon see, the ingredients in mayonnaise are simple and inexpensive, and the preparation is quick and easy. Even more importantly, the rich and savory taste of homemade mayo surely triumphs over the blander store variety.
To make Mayonnaise you will need an egg, vinegar, salt, lemon juice, mustard, and oil. That is all. These six ingredients are probably lying around your kitchen and cupboard already.
If not, they are cheap, common, and, besides the egg, non-perishable or very long lasting. Do yourself a favor and head down to the store and pick these staples up at your earliest convenience.
- 1 egg yolk at room temperature (a lighter, less dense mayonnaise will result if you use the entire egg)
- 1 Tablespoon Vinegar
- 1 Teaspoon Lemon juice
- ½ Teaspoon dry mustard powder (or 1 Teaspoon dijon mustard)
- ¼ Teaspoon to salt
- 1 cup light olive oil (or vegetable oil. Any light, neutral oil will do. Avoid extra virgin olive oil)
- 1 Tablespoon unfiltered organic Apple Cider Vinegar (in place of white or red Vinegar)
- Dash of Seventeenth Century Pharmaceutical Spices: Nutmeg, Cloves, AllSpice, Cinnamon
- Dash of anti-inflammatory spices: Ginger, Turmeric
- Dash of parsley and chives
- Make sure egg and all ingredients are at room temperature. Take egg out of fridge and let it sit on the counter for at least twenty minutes, or fill a cup with warm water and soak for a few minutes.
- Separate egg yolk.
- Combine egg yolk, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard and salt and whisk vigorously. (Add medicinal spices if desired.)
- SLOWLY – and I mean painstakingly slowly, drizzle in olive oil while whisking the mixture. (This can be done in a food processor.). If you add the oil too quickly the mayonnaise may ‘break’. This means the oil and the egg will separate and you will have to add mustard or more yolk and whisk vigorously to fix this blunder.
- Add additional salt, seasoning or lemon juice to taste.
- Store in fridge up to a week.
* Warning! Eating raw eggs may be dangerous for pregnant women, children, and others.
The Cleansing Aspect of Vinegar
One of the delightful aspects of homemade recipes is that they are flexible and open to interpretation. For example, some mayonnaise recipes call for white vinegar and others for red. This is simply a matter of personal preference. I choose to use organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar because I enjoy the pungent taste and aroma.
Apple cider vinegar contains the ‘mother’ element of vinegar, which consists of a sour brew of beneficial bacteria and cellulose. This aspect of the vinegar contains many health benefits. One simple way to comprehend the cleansing benefits of any vinegar is to think of a great traditional and natural household cleaner – white vinegar and water.
To make this cleaner you simply pour a few ounces of white vinegar into a spray bottle, add the same amount of water, and voila, there you have it! The vinegar compound dissolves dirt and gunk from kitchen counters, sinks, and floors and just about anywhere you can spray it.
If vinegar erases dirt and cleans gunk from exterior surfaces, think about what it does inside your body. Basically it cleanses you, and flushes out the bad gunk. Thankfully, vinegar is harmless and edible so there’s no concern about trending teenagers guzzling down vinegar cleansers in hopes of initiating the next Tidepod challenge.
Some people find a multitude of choices overwhelming but I am not one of those people. I like to consider the options. Even a simple ingredient like an egg has many varieties to choose from.
If you’re lucky enough to have live chickens running around on your property then you don’t have to look any farther than your own backyard. Go ahead and pluck one of those eggs when the rooster isn’t looking.
If you head to your local supermarket the main variables of egg selection will be: color, size, price, cage free, organic, non-GMO and local. (To name a few). Now, if you multiply all of these options there are literally dozens of possibilities to choose from. Also if you want to go off the deep end you can consider Quail eggs and other rare birds.
The good news is you can’t go wrong. No matter what you pick, you’ll end up with a decent bird egg. As a matter of fact, if you want to keep things simple you can just choose whatever catches your eye first.
Let’s face it, farm chickens have it pretty rough. Sure they have a guaranteed source of food and shelter but they spend their days cooped up (literally) and don’t have a lot of quality time off to spend with their friends and family.
I usually buy cage free eggs because the little tinge of guilt I feel for the plight of chickens is diminished this way. But hey, the food chain exists on planet earth and we sure got lucky when we were born at the top of it (excepting the occasional Great White Shark attack).
If you’re able to spend a few extra dollars I suggest buying the organic, local, cage free eggs. They taste better and you can consider the extra expenditure as an investment in your health. How lucky are we to have so many options and choices in America when it comes to food?
Let’s talk about salt. There’s table salt, iodized salt, sea salt, kosher salt, pink Himalayan salt. Ok I admit, eggs are basically just eggs and salt is basically just salt.
But I happen to enjoy fussing about eggs and salt and vinegars. And at the end you get to eat them.
So back to salt. Chemically speaking there is little verifiable difference between any of the salt varieties. Iodized salt has iodine added to it, obviously, but besides that they are chemically indistinguishable. However, generally speaking, I’m more inclined to select an ingredient that is less refined and closer to its natural state. I tend to think that the less processed an ingredient is, the more healthy and flavorful it will be.
Along those lines, wouldn’t you rather eat salt that came from the ocean or the Himalayan mountain range than a nondescript food lab in some beige, windowless building somewhere?
That being said, I am not your average Luddite. I am aware that modern food production and agriculture techniques have led to a massive worldwide diminishment in hunger and malnutrition. And being an American means that I’m fortunate enough to be able to fuss over salt. So I fuss over it. God Bless America!
When I made this recipe I ended up using sea salt because I have a little sea salt grinder that is fun to use.
For the mustard element of this recipe you can use dried mustard powder or fresh Dijon mustard out of the bottle. Whichever you prefer. Mustard by the way can help relieve muscle aches and respiratory difficulties.
For the oil contingent – I went with canola oil. Any kind of neutral or light olive oil works here. (There is great Internet debate about the supposed dangers of canola and other vegetable oils. I’ll leave it to you to do your research.) Be careful not to use extra virgin olive oil since that will make the mayo taste bitter.
Lemon juice compliments the vinegar and adds a bright and zesty twang. Obviously.
I like to add a dash of nutmeg, cloves, allspice and cinnamon to my mayo. This expands the flavor profile and enervates the palette.
In the Seventeenth century, nutmeg was worth its weight in gold, literally, and was used not only as a spice but also as a pharmaceutical. Druggists of the day advertised nutmeg as a cure for the cough, cold and plague!
Trading for nutmeg was a precipitous operation that involved sailing halfway around the globe to the exotic Spice Islands on wooden boats. Countless sailors perished in the process.