Mayonnaise is one of the most famous sauces in the world I guess 🙂 and I also have my favorite version, although I rarely do it.
The mayonnaise is one of the base sauces of the classic French cuisine, it has a long history but its origin it’s not certain: someone say the origin of the name comes from the Spanish city Mahon where a French chef created a sauce with oil and yolks. Another version says the name comes from the old French word “moyeau” which means yolk.
Many recipes suggest to use seeds oils, but originally it was probably made with olive oil. The use of seeds oils rather than extra virgin olive oil is justified if you want a blander and less intense taste, but it seems that it has also some technical reasons: the phenolic content of good quality extra virgin olive oils leads to a mayonnaise with a more irregular structure so it’s easier to curdle the mayonnaise. So if you use only an extra virgin olive oil it should be added even more slowly than a seed oil to obtain a correct emulsion. In few words you need to pay a bit more attention.
Personally I use to cut it 50/50 with seeds oil if I want to obtain a lighter taste (for example to use next to some delicate fish), or just with a good extra virgin olive oil if I want the most flavorful taste.
About the technique, some fast recipes suggest to use an immersion blender: in 20 seconds it’s ready but the consistence is quite different than what I want, because the result is usually more fluid and like all the things which are made in a hurry it doesn’t satisfy me 🙂
For the best texture I suggest a hand whisker, or an electric whisker used at the minimum speed.
The mustard: again, if you want a light taste don’t use it, but a small spoon adds a nice taste and it also helps to make a more stable emulsion.
INGREDIENTS (all at the same temperature):
- 2 yolks (from very fresh eggs)
- 200 ml of extra virgin olive oil (or cut it with half seeds oil)
- the juice of half lemon, or less (filtered)
- freshly ground black pepper (optional)
- a small spoon of mustard (optional)
- The ingredients must have all the same temperature, so they must be at room temperature considering that the extra virgin olive oil solidifies in the cold.
- Take a bowl and start whisking the yolks until they are a homogeneous cream (add also the salt and the ground black pepper during this first step).
- Then while whisking start to add the oil, very slowly, in more steps. Add a little and then wait until absorbed, and so on.
- When have added about half of the oil you can add half of the lemon juice (it helps the emulsion), then keep adding the oil as before.
- Add the salt, and in the end the remaining lemon juice (but try first the mayonnaise, too much lemon it’s not good).
- If you want to add the mustard add it in the end (and use less salt in that case).
- Your mayonnaise is ready, put it in the fridge at least 3-4 hours before using it (the taste and the texture get better after some rest).
- I suggest to eat it in a couple of days (and keep it stored in the fridge).
PS: it’s possible that you’ll need a bit less oil than what’s suggested, once you reach the texture you like then you stop adding oil.