Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Miracle Whip or Mayo?

One of the great debates that has spanned decades of American culture - Miracle Whip or Mayo? You may gasp or be shocked and appalled but I come from Miracle Whip. That's what was in the fridge when I was young and so that was the condiment of choice. I held pretty firm on that and once married we became a multi-egg based condiment household. With age I've realized there are things that fade or become less important and Miracle Whip is one of them.

My kids are mayo kids and though occasionally there is a jar of "sandwich spread" in the fridge it's not often. If pressed, I guess I 'd have to say Hellman's is the one to buy. What I really like is the homemade version.

We/Doug got a fancy new Vita-Mix for my/our/his kitchen at Christmas time. He/I needed it to make hot sauce/lots of fabulous stuff. He teases me often about "his" Vita-Mix. I'll let him have the Vita-Mix but the kitchen is still my domain. Anyway, homemade mayo in a Vita-Mix is a wonderful thing.

Of course this is where I insert information about the freshest and best quality food. Thanks to my girls my mayo rocks. Seriously. To be safe, I would always suggest you search out pastured eggs from a reputable area farmer. Since the eggs are uncooked this is the ultimate case for clean food and not the best choice for young children or those with deficient immunity. Let common sense prevail.

A few simple ingredients mixed together then a slow drizzle of oil is all you need for sandwich nirvana. No you don 't need to have a Vita-mix. A blender works perfectly. A food processor works well for a bit larger quantity. Of course, all you really need is a whisk and a strong arm.

No, this photo is not re-touched and no, I didn't add yellow food coloring. Amazing, beautiful mayonnaise that is light, lemony and full of easily pronounced ingredients some of which came from my own back yard.

Just in time, too. We're out of Mir-a-cle Whip!

Homemade Mayonnaise
How To Cook Everything by Mark Bittman
method slightly annotated

1 egg or egg yolk, a whole egg will result in a lighter mayo
dash cayenne
1/2 t. dry mustard
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup extra virgin olive oil or canola oil (for aioli* I use olive oil otherwise canola)

Combine the egg, cayenne, mustard, salt, pepper, lemon juice and, 1/4 cup of the oil in the container of a blender or food processor; run on the machine and, with the machine running, add the oil in a thin, steady stream.

After you've added about 1/2 of the oil, the mixture will thicken (emulsify); then you can begin adding the oil a bit faster. When all of the oil has been added, check the seasonings and refrigerate for up to a week.

*aoili or garlic mayonnaise is a traditional French accompaniment. Wonderful with fish or vegetables or as a sauce for any cooked food. Add 1 to 4 whole peeled cloves of garlic at the beginning.

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