Sunday, June 17, 2012

Thoughts...on Mayo...

Ok, so I've never been a huge fan of mayonnaise.  Even when I was a kid, good ol' yellow mustard was my go-to condiment. And now that I'm all grown up, I still adore mustard... not that I have 6 bottles in my fridge or pantry at the moment or anything...  Anyway! Mustard-aholic that I am, I still have to admit that there are some things that mayo is good for.  Chicken salad for instance... actually, any sandwich filling that ends with "salad" for that matter, egg salad, tuna salad, salmon salad... I could go on, but I'll stop there.

As we started transitioning to healthier foods, I started phasing out the condiments in my fridge that included ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, soybean oil, and preservatives that I couldn't pronounce.  That meant I needed to find an alternative mayo option for the occasional use in salads or sandwich.  I've been looking for options and haven't found anything good... I love Greek yogurt and all, and typically mix mayo with it for salads, but the few times I've tried subbing straight yogurt for mayo in a salad recipe, the Hubby was like, "Ummm, not so much".  Back to the drawing board.  Even the "healthy" vegan mayo at the health food store contains soybean oil (and soy is a no-no for me). Sigh... what's a girl to do?

Ummm... DIY, of course! So, after doing a quick internet search for mayo recipes, I came across this one that looked pretty brain-dead easy, so I figured I'd give it a try.  Yes, it is (as Julia Child put it) “...almost automatic, and no culinary skill whatsoever enters into its preparation.”  True, true... but I wasn't in the mood to whisk frantically for 15 minutes when I have a perfectly good food processor with a whisk attachment that could do it for me in 2 minutes flat.  Awesome, or what?  I think yes.

And speaking of awesome, way better flavor than that supermarket stuff with a shelf life of 2+ years (you know you want to... do it... do it... I dare you to check the expiration date of the mayo in your fridge...).

A few things I've learned about homemade mayo - PLEASE use caution when using raw eggs.  Especially since you have to let your egg(s) come to room temperature before making this recipe.  There is a risk of salmonella, so I would only recommend trying this at home if you know where your eggs come from... I should also add that both vinegar and olive oil have antibacterial properties, so using an emulsion of fresh eggs, vinegar and olive oil is pretty safe if you use quality ingredients and your God-given common sense.  Be sure to refrigerate the mayo immediately and use it within 1 week.  Some sources say homemade mayo will keep up to two weeks in the fridge, but I like to err on the side of caution.

I read a post recently at GNOWFGLINS about lactofermenting mayo to increase its shelf life and give you a probiotic boost.  Interesting, but I haven't been brave enough to try that one yet.  Baby steps, remember?

Another thought... homemade mayo is pretty calorie dense, even when made with healthy fats and fresh ingredients, so enjoy in moderation and don't just inhale it by the spoonful, ok?

I found this article about raw eggs interesting.  Harold McGee is a name I trust when it comes to food science, and I agree with his viewpoint on eggs.  Here's an excerpt from that article:
San Francisco-based food scientist Harold McGee, author of the upcoming "Keys to Good Cooking," isn't all that worried. Though he gets his eggs from local producers, he said he wouldn't hesitate to consume uncooked supermarket eggs in a recipe. He would draw the line at serving them to a pregnant woman, child or elderly person or someone with an illness that might weaken their immunity. But overall, he thinks the odds of getting sick favor the home cook. "For home cooks, it's less of a problem than for institutions that are going to be cracking lots and lots of eggs and then pooling them to make a particular dish," he said. "The moment you start to add more than one egg to what you're making, mathematically your odds of having a problem go up."
 So, like I said, use your own common sense on this one.  In the meantime, I feel some mayo-licious recipes happening my near future.  Keep your eyes peeled - if they turn out alright, I just might share them with you...


  1. Love your idea -- I'm having to try to go completely without mayo because of my allergy to eggs which is getting increasingly more problematic; I'm watching with glee to see where you go with this!

    cjcloser (Beka's mom)

  2. I've seen a lot of chefs talk about using pasteurized eggs when you're going to be eating raw eggs in an emulsion, thoughts?


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