I’m not sure how it happened that SOMEHOW I made it through an entire year and then some of blogging without a recipe that featured potatoes. Crazy. But then again, maybe not… Potatoes are easy to give love to. Whenever I had a recipe that might have called for a potato, I thought, “Everyone has a billion and one recipes for potatoes. I will be food blogger crafty and do it with sweet potato, cause nobody knows what to do with them.”
And so, no potato recipes. That gets rectified right now.
Mayonnaise has, coincidentally, been on my to-do list for quite some time as well. It’s one of those types of recipes that scares everyone off because they think that they need special equipment (at the very least, an immersion blender) and a little bit of magic, or Things Will Go Wrong. Things, of course, being the emulsion not happening the way it ought to.
What the heck is an emulsion and what does it have to do with mayonnaise?
Heck, you may already be familiar with the word emulsion. Usually it describes paint, or photography dark room chemistry.
All an emulsion is two materials that won’t (officially) mix together, blended in such a way that fine droplets of one scatter throughout the other. Take mayonnaise: which is mostly oil, with fine particles of liquid egg, lemon juice, water and other things mixed into it without them separating out.
It turns out that you can make it with nothing more sophisticated than a whisk and a little patience. It doesn’t even require a lot of time… about 5 minutes to make your own awesome, clean, fresh tasty mayonnaise.
How do I keep Things From Going Wrong?
1) Be sanitary. You’re using a raw egg yolk to make this mayo. Nothing gets cooked. Make sure that the egg does not come in contact with the outside of the shell.
2) Be prepared. Have your ingredients and whisk set out at hand. Room temperature for the yolk and the lemon juice helps with the emulsion process a lot… but so does the cold water you’ll be adding to it.
Choose a heavy bowl to do your whisking in… if you have one of those Corningware mixing bowls (the ones that feel like they weigh a metric ton when they’re stacked together)? This is their time to shine. If all you have are lightweight bowls, set them on top of a damp rag and make sure you find a secure place to prop them between your gut and an immovable object. You will be needing your left hand to pour and won’t be able to hold the bowl.
3) Be patient. Adding the oil as slowly as you can is the other key to getting the emulsion right. You want to add it almost in a scant drizzle at the start. Once the emulsion begins to take and the mixture begins to thicken, you can pour a little faster in a thin stream.
Make sure you keep it refrigerated after using. Also, the longer you let it chill, the better the flavor gets. If you intend to make the potato salad, make the mayonnaise the day before. You won’t regret it, I promise!
- 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
- 2-2.5 teaspoons lemon juice (the juice of a half a small lemon) and the zest from it.
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cold water
- 3/4 cup light olive oil
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/2-3/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- Mayonnaise (see above)
- New red potatoes
- Coarse Salt
- Olive Oil
- Cracked Pepper
- Fresh Rosemary and Parsley for garnish
- Bring the egg to room temperature quickly by running under hot water. Separate the yolk.
- Whisk together the egg yolk, lemon juice, mustard, salt and cold water until frothy. Whisking constantly, slowly dribble in the oil in a very fine stream until the mixture begins to thicken visibly. Once the emulsion begins to thicken, continue to whisk and add the remaining oil a little bit more quickly until mayonnaise is thick and oil is incorporated.
- Fold in the lemon zest, rosemary and pepper, store in a glass jar, and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
- Wash and cut potatoes. In a bowl, toss with olive oil to coat them thoroughly and place them in a roasting pan, cut sides down. Sprinkle liberally with coarse salt and a little cracked pepper.
- Place the roasting pan in a cold oven and turn the heat on to 450F, leaving the potatoes to roast for 25-40 minutes, or until the skins begin to wrinkle, and the potatoes are tender and begin to brown.
- Remove from oven and pour the potatoes into a serving bowl. While the potatoes are still warm, pour enough mayonnaise over the top of them to coat them thoroughly (the hot potatoes will absorb some of it), and toss with the rosemary and parsley.
- Serve immediately.
OH EM GEE, wait–raw egg? BUT… Salmonella?
People get awful uptight about salmonella. Your odds of having a badly contaminated egg are quite low… about 1 in 20,000. Furthermore, the source of salmonella contamination is likely to be the eggshell. If you keep your eggs refrigerated, and you use some care cracking the shell, and you’re healthy, adult, and not pregnant, you most likely will be just fine.
If you’re still worried about it, you can buy some pasturized eggs. They’re more expensive, but hey, you only need it for anything you’re going to use raw eggs in.
Hey, I read somewhere I can pasteurize my eggs at home!
No, you cannot.
Sure, you can bring up the temperature of an egg to 140F and hold it there for three minutes without cooking the egg, but I read a peer-reviewed science article (which I cannot find again now that I want it, of course) suggested that times to kill the majority of salmonella in various dishes with liquid eggs cooked at low temperature (140F, below yolk coagulation temperature) ran from 20-90 minutes.