Friday, March 1, 2013

Using Your Eggs :: Making Mayo

Basil Garlic Mayo with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

One of the ways to reduce your food bill and guarantee nutritious food for your family is to make as much of your own frequently used food items as you can from wholesome ingredients you already have around your home.

Mayonnaise is a popular condiment that is simple to make, but unfortunately has been shrouded in so much mystery that it seems easier to buy it from the local one stop shop, even better in "family size" so that the customer "gets a good deal". 

Can you believe it's as easy as slowly mixing drops of oil with an egg yolk until a sauce is made?

Did you know that the US FDA regulates mayo?  In those plastic jars you'll find approved amounts of various oils, egg or egg yolk, vinegar, and spices, which are coincidentally the same ingredients in a bottle of salad dressing, just in different ratios.  The eggs are pasteurized, thereby killing all the good stuff with the bad, because they are likely produced by factory chickens, where incidence of disease runs high.  The oil used is typically derived of the soy bean plant, which is the most genetically modified crop in the country.  The vinegar is derived most likely from a process using distilled alcohol.  If we're talking "low-fat" versions, egg yolks are removed, replaced with egg whites and something called "modified food starches" that act as thickening agents.  And we haven't even covered the shelf stablizers and preservatives they add.  Even "organic" or "natural" versions can still contain ingredients that really aren't necessary for a wholesome mayo.

A fresh, flavourful mayo can be made using 4 ingredients, a bowl, and a handheld beater or a whisk and an arm of steel.

The recipe is as simple as remembering that one egg yolk accepts up to one cup of oil to make mayo.  This 1:1 ratio will yield about a pint of mayo.  If you are in need of a bulk quantity, quadrupling this ratio yields about a quart.  Just make sure you can use it all in about 3 days.

Here's the deal-i-oh:

Place one egg yolk in a bowl.  Add a drop of lemon juice to help with stabilizing.  Then slowly add two to three drops of oil at a time (oils like olive or walnut pack even more nutrition) while continuously mixing it together with the yolk.  This will slowly evolve into a thickened sauce, and with the addition of more oil, over time, you'll get the consistency of mayo from a jar.  It will look very different however, because you have used wholesome, fresh, and nutritious ingredients.  You can add up to one cup of oil, but more than that will break the emulsion and the magic will be gone. You'll also need to add a little lemon juice--make sure you start with small quantities (adding a teaspoon at a time, unless your goal is to have lemon-flavoured mayo) and a pinch of salt.

Speaking of taste buds, at this point you can add a minced clove or two of garlic and any kinds of herbs--heck, you could live a little and add saffron or tumeric (which are forbidden in trade mayos because it gives the appearance of added extra yolks.  Eek! The horror!)

What to do with those leftover egg whites?  They can actually be frozen for up to 3 months.  Most macaroon recipes need 3. :)

Hoping you will give this recipe a try.  Just another way to incorporate healthy vitamins and fats into our diets.

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