My Recipe Box

Creamy Mayonnaise

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Yields about 1-1/4 cups.

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 38

Distinct from and immeasurably superior to bottled mayonnaise, the creamy, rich character comes from an emulsion of oil, egg, and lemon juice. Dollop onto grilled seafood or chicken; nap over room temperature boiled shrimp or lobster; dress composed salads of tuna, chicken, egg, ham, or potato; use as a dipping sauce for fried seafood or crudités; stir into warm brothy soups, especially fish-based; spread onto croutons and sandwiches.

  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice or white-wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup vegetable or olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper

Whisk the yolks, lemon juice, and mustard together until frothy. Slowly whisk in the oil, a drop at a time, until the sauce begins to emulsify. Add the remaining oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Variations

Aïoli: Smash and mince 3 to 4 cloves garlic. Make the basic mayonnaise, adding the garlic to the yolks and lemon juice, omitting the mustard, and using olive oil.

Lemon-herb: Add 1 tsp. grated lemon zest and 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (such as dill, parsley, tarragon, chervil, or basil) to the basic recipe.

Rouille: Roast, peel, seed, and purée 1 medium red bell pepper. Whisk together with 1/2 tsp. tomato paste and 1 large clove garlic, smashed and minced. Make the basic mayonnaise using olive oil and omitting the mustard. Whisk in the bell pepper and tomato mixture and season with 1/4 tsp. hot sauce, or more to taste.

Curry: Heat 1 Tbs. curry powder in 1 Tbs. vegetable oil for 1 min. and add to the basic recipe. Other spice blends, such as chili powder or garam masala, also work well.

Rémoulade-style: Make the basic recipe, increasing the mustard to 2 Tbs. and adding 2 Tbs. white-wine vinegar, 2 Tbs. tomato paste, 2 minced cloves garlic, 2 tsp. sweet paprika, and a dash hot sauce to the egg yolk and lemon juice base. Use all vegetable oil and finish by stirring in 1/4 cup each of finely chopped scallions, capers, and parsley.

Ginger-lime-cilantro: Make the basic recipe, substituting 1Tbs. lime juice for the 1 tsp. lemon juice, omitting the mustard, and using 1-1/4 cups peanut oil with 1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil. Grate a 3- to 4-inch piece of peeled ginger and squeeze out about 2 Tbs. ginger juice (or use bottled). Whisk in the juice and 3 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro.

Chipotle chile: Stir 1 Tbs. minced canned chipotle chile and 1 minced small clove garlic into the basic recipe. Season with black pepper in place of white. If desired, stir in 3 Tbs. chopped scallions or cilantro.

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