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Cooking with Tallyrand

RECIPE SAUCES - mayonnaise



MAYONNAISE - there is nothing like a good fresh mayonnaise. Professionally we call it one of the mother sauces, as it is used as a base for so many other sauces; tartare for your fried fish, green sauce for cold poached salmon or ham, aioli etc. mayonnaise is an emulsion sauce; by the means of an emulsion agent (egg yolk) oil and water that don't normally mix will combine forming a creamy cold sauce. Mayonnaise may be used as a cold sauce with cold appetisers or cold buffets, alternatively it may be thinned and used as a salad dressing 

as with most cooking and great food, a good mayonnaise requires good ingredients. The better the oil, vinegar and mustard you use, the better the sauce will be. I prefer lemon juice to vinegar as it gives a fresher flavour, but try it with cider vingar or white basalmic etc. In place of the mild English mustard, try French, German, Dijon or seeeded etc. As for the oil, any good vegetable based oil will do; soya, sunflower, safflower etc or olive oil (but not virgin or extra virgin) 

Because this is an uncooked sauce, only the freshest, pasteurised eggs should be used for food hygiene reasons

the thickness of the sauce depends on the freshness of the egg and the oil to egg yolk ratio, the more oil you add the thicker it will get. The amounts stated here will give a medium consistency and should be used as a guideline only

egg yolk 1 pc
vinegar    - white wine 1 tbs
lemon juice 1 tbs
mustard   - mild english 1 tsp
oil            - vegetable  250 ml
  1. place the egg yolks, vinegar and mustard into a bowl and combine well with a whisk
  2. secure the bowl to the workbench by placing the bowl onto a damp cloth and while whisking (in a figure of eight movement), very slowly add the oil a little at a time until all the oil is completely combined
  3. once all the oil has been added, continue whisking for a further minute to ensure a complete emulsion
  4. taste and correct seasoning with salt and white pepper
  5. add more lemon juice or mustard as required 
  6. the ‘correct’ thickness of this sauce will depend on its required use
    • thick if other ingredients are to be added (for derivative sauces etc)
    • thin if required as a salad dressingm

chef notes

sometimes the emulsion will not work, when this happens we say the sauce has split or curdled, mayonnaise will curdle or split for a variety of reasons:
• the oil is too warm or too cold
• the oil was added to quickly
• the whisking was insufficient
• the yolks were stale
This can be corrected by one of two means:
• a little boiling water is placed into a bowl and the curdled mayonnaise slowly whisked into it

• a fresh egg yolk and a little vinegar or water is placed into a bowl and the curdled mayonnaise slowly whisked into it