Coast Cooking

Make your own mayonnaise, you’ll love it, if you can get it right


Special to the Sun Herald

A burger with mayonnaise sauce.
A burger with mayonnaise sauce.

You may not realize it, but the all-American condiment, mayonnaise, is in fact a wonderful French sauce.

From it springs many other sauces, including mustard aioli (and many other aioli versions), remoulade sauce, tartar sauce, butter milk ranch dressing, and the famous Mississippi Delta comeback sauce.

If the only mayonnaise you have had came from a jar, you may be turning up your noise at the idea of mayonnaise as something special, but it would be a serious mistake to dismiss this classic sauce.

If you have never made it before, your first attempts may be difficult, but hang in there, and soon you will be whipping out wonderful mayonnaise sauces at a moment’s notice.

You can make mayonnaise with a blender, electric mixer, or by hand with a whisk, it’s up to you. My French son-in-law is a purist and insists that making it by hand is the only way.

Combine 6 egg yolks with a little salt and white pepper, and 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice. As you whisk the yolk mixture, pour the thinnest possible stream of oil, as slowly as you can, into the mixture. You should use about 3 cups of oil in all.

That takes time, whether you are using a whisk, food processor or blender. After a time the sauce will start to thicken, do not dump the rest of the oil in, but continue at a moderate pace.

It sounds easy, but I have thrown away many bungled attempts at making mayonnaise. Keep at it and you will become an expert shortly.