Happy New Year!
In true slacker fashion, I’m about a week late in glad tidings of the new year but when you’ve been travelling during the holiday break + have two birthdays to celebrate in one week, things get busy here in at the start of January. Especially if said birthdays are the birthdays of a now 4-year-old Little Man and a freshly minted 6- year-old Little Diva, who are both under the impression that though their birthdays are two days apart, the are the only two creatures on earth to ever have had a birthday. As a result we have to declare national holidays on these blessed days and pulling out all the stops. But, enough about them. Let’s discuss squeaky clean eating and this squeaky cleaning eating mayonnaise.
Yeah, go ahead and take it in. I’ve gone weird(er) on you and now am trying to sell you homemade mayo. I hadn’t ventured into the fancy schmancy mayo making territory until recently. I had only ever gotten that fix by watching Ina Garten make delicious looking, artisanal mayonnaise in her gloriously lit kitchen and thinking that I would never be able to enter that level of cooking. But now, I’m calling you from the other side- homemade mayo is so fast and so easy that I decided I need to dispel this myth of mayonnaise in a store-bought jar being easier.
The first time I made my clean eating mayo with EVOO, I looked into my food processor bowl and squealed with excitement. The Mister was reading at the time and I heard myself say/yell, “3 minutes ago, this was oil, egg, salt, garlic, and lemon juice and now it’s MAY-freakin-O!” In other words, what the heck did I just make? Did I really move to the next level of culinary achievement? It was like finding a rare pokemon.
The Mister was very happy that I was happy but his expression clearly read “Oooookkkkkaaaaay, wierdo!”
To be fair, that’s how 90% of my conversations with most of my friends and fam go.
I’ve made a conscious effort to eat better and eliminate as many processed foods as possible over the last few months. I even did a round of whole30 last fall, right around halloween, so I wouldn’t steal my kids’ candy while they slept, like I do every year #parentconfessions. As a result, we still have a mountain of candy, untouched because I may or may not have forgotten to drop the bag off to the millions of people collecting candy for charity (oooooooppppsss). So now, this has become me: a person who is consciously aware of what sugar does to my moods. As a result, I started paying even closer attention to the ingredients and nutritional breakdown in our so-called packaged but healthy foods and noticed sugar and corn syrup solids were becoming a common theme.
Mayonnaise has an undeservedly bad reputation. It’s supposed to be unhealthy, greasy, high in fat, and something you have to avoid if you’re watching what you eat. My recipe omits the canola/palm oil, sugar, and preservatives so you’re left with heart healthy olive oil, an egg, and seasonings. One batch makes about 1 1/2 cups and stores well for 1-2 weeks in the fridge but I rarely end up having it longer than that anyway because there are always uses for mayo like the dressing in my buffalo chicken cobb salad (also whole30 compliant) or the dressing for these hot oven baked sliders. I’m not telling you to, in one sitting, devour the entire jar of freshly made mayo, use it as an enhancer and it’s not the villain we have made it out to be.
THE OLIVE OIL: Use the mildest olive oil you can find because olive oil tends to carry a robust flavor, which is not something that you ideally want in mayo. I know there are several brands (Bertoli and Pompeii come to mind) that sell an extra milk version of olive oil. The lighter the color of the oil, the milder it is.
THE EGGS: Room temperature eggs and lemon juice is ideal. The oil and egg coagulate better when all the ingredients are at room temperature but don’t give up if you forgot to take the egg out of the fridge. Simply cover the egg in warm water and let sit for 3-5 minutes, while the egg warms up. Same goes for the lemon, though I generally keep my lemons counter top so they’re always ready to juice. Fresh eggs are also best, for food safety. I’m not telling you to drive 3 hours to the nearest farm and hand pick the eggs, but use eggs that are purchased recently.
THE FOOD PROCESSOR: When you run the food processor, fitted with the regular chopper blade, slowly stream in a cup of the olive oil. Don’t dump it, you’re going to end up with a soupy mess. Just a slow, steady stream while the food processor emulsifies the mixture. By streaming, I mean a very thin and steady trickle through the spout of the food processor.
So when your mayo turns out, and I’m sure it will, do your happy dance and shout from the rooftops: “I MADE MAY-faraheekeeen-O!” and repeat often!
- 1 large egg at room temperature*
- 1 1/4 cup very mild olive oil/avocado oil**
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
- 1 peeled garlic clove
- 1–2 tbsp lemon juice/juice of half a lemon (at room temperature)
- With the blade fitted into the bowl of the food processor, add the cracked egg, along with 1/4 cup oil, salt, pepper, mustard powder, garlic clove, and lemon juice. Fit securely with lid and and run the food processor on high.
- Slowly drizzle in remaining cup of olive oil, in a steady steam through the food processor spout as the processor runs. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
- Store in an airtight container/glass mason jar with a lid, in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
*if you don’t have room temperature eggs, cover a whole egg with warm water for a few minutes to let it warm up.
**the milder the flavor of the oil, the less the taste of the oil will come through in the mayo. There are brands that sell very mild versions of olive oil. The lighter the oil, the milder the flavor.