Whipping up some mayo

cooking 101

May 07, 2008|By Kate Shatzkin | Kate Shatzkin,Sun reporter

Mayonnaise is so easy to buy. But what lots of people don't know is that it's almost as easy to make, and can be dressed up as a sophisticated accompaniment to the vegetables coming off your grill.

"If you can make a base mayonnaise, you can expand your sauce repertoire to 25 sauces," says Baltimore International College chef instructor Michael Wagner.

Start with room-temperature egg yolks for a stronger emulsion, Wagner says. (If raw eggs worry you, use pasteurized yolks.) For a mild mayonnaise, use vegetable oil rather than olive oil, which can turn the mayonnaise green and adds stronger flavor. Add the oil slowly, a few drops at a time, whisking by hand or with a mixer to bring it together with the eggs.

Once you've mastered the basic emulsion, you can try aioli, which includes garlic paste in the base, and perhaps add saffron steeped in a little white wine. Or add red peppers simmered in white wine and a pinch of cayenne pepper to make a rouille, a classic accompaniment to bouillabaisse.

You can use the flavored mayonnaise as a dipping sauce for a grilled-vegetable plate featuring Roma tomatoes, endive, red onion and zucchini. These techniques also can be used to flavor store-bought mayonnaise.

kate.shatzkin@baltsun.com

Basic Mayonnaise

Makes about 4 cups

3 ounces egg yolks (about 3 to 4 yolks)

4 tablespoons white vinegar

2 tablespoons water

2 1/4 teaspoons dry mustard

3 cups vegetable oil

2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper (or as needed)

2 tablespoons lemon juice (or as needed)

Whisk the yolks, vinegar, water and mustard until slightly foamy. Add the oil gradually in a thin stream, whisking constantly, until all the oil is incorporated and the mayonnaise is thick. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice, as needed. Refrigerate immediately.

Courtesy of the Culinary Institute of America

Per tablespoon: 96 calories, trace protein, 11 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, trace carbohydrate, 0 grams fiber, 10 milligrams cholesterol, 68 milligrams sodium

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