The joy of homemade mayonnaise

Sometimes I think I get too much sleep and even that isn’t enough. The bed is my refuge, my perfect excuse to just lounge around and do absolutely nothing productive. It’s gotten me into trouble loads of times – more than anything else, it goes perfectly well with my habit of procrastinating.

Coming home was perfect timing, according to my mom. I went home last Saturday and the day after was the start of the morning novena masses leading up to Christmas (misa de gallo). Waking up at 3:30 in the morning just so I can properly get ready at 4 is a challenge. We come home after the mass and I just plop myself on the bed and the next thing I know, it’s already lunch time. Ah, the life of a bum. I’ve been there, done that and got the shirt but maybe there’s a part of me that wants more shirts.

But I try, God knows I try to make breakfast count, whether it’s eggs en cocotte (eggs baked in singe serve ramekins), my default brekkie when I’m in the mood or toast with whatever spread is available. Coming home fresh from cooking school does have its perks – I find myself working faster, knowing and doing more. If only I can keep everything orderly and clean (close to impossible).
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There’s joy in being able to make things from scratch. Homemade mayonnaise just sounds so fancy, even if it isn’t. It’s labor intensive and since I have yet to try shortcuts, a lot of elbow grease and arm work is needed. At least it’s a semblance of working out. The key is to just keep whisking, keep whisking, keep whisking, while adding the oil little by little by little.

Mayonnaise is a mixture of two unmixable liquids, in this case oil and vinegar, and whisking creates that emulsion. So far I’ve been making it for two consecutive days now, and strange as it sounds, I actually like the arm work that goes into it. It just goes so well with ham, salad greens all over a single slice of toasted bread. It’s the open-faced sandwich of the season. Mom uses the mayonnaise in her salads and I’m thinking of making a spread out of it soon.
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Like I said, getting myself out of the bed can be a struggle, but if it means being able to revel in whatever finite satisfaction a good breakfast with the family holds, then it’s worth it. Making mayonnaise from scratch is also worth it.
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Mayonnaise

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon prepared dijon mustard
  • oil (around 1/2 – 1 cup, I prefer to put it in a squeeze bottle because it’s more convenient)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • honey, optional

In a bowl combine egg yolk, vinegar, mustard. While whisking vigorously, add the oil a little at a time. Repeat this process until the mixture begins to thicken and emulsify.Photobucket

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I think this is hollandaise

For our lab last week, we were making sauces, specifically veloute, allemande and hollandaise. I decided to make the hollandaise after I made the first two because I knew it was a slightly meticulous process. When the first two sauces were done, I set out to make that which is so deceptively simple but incredibly dreaded. A few minutes in, as I was whisking the egg yolks, the unthinkable happened: it became scrambled eggs! Now I’m trying to sound like some dude who sees everything half full: all I need is rice and beef tapa and I’m all set. And, at least I now know of another (albeit impractical and downright unnecessary) way to cook scrambled eggs.

But long story short, I didn’t have any hollandaise to present. My ass was kicked.

I couldn’t really go through this process without vindication learning from my mistakes. I want to put it out there: I know how to make hollandaise! (and it won’t be the death of me).

I don’t have a lot of kitchen space and equipment, so the setup is rather cumbersome. I added some water to simmer in a pot, and used the steamer that came with the rice cooker to help stabilize my bowl. In went the butter for it to melt. (confession: I used cheap, not so real butter).
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Then I combined vinegar and minced shallots in a pan. Set it over low – medium heat to let the liquid reduce. After it has reduced, I took it out of the heat and “refreshed” it with a bit of cold water, then placed it back over the heat. I then strained it over a bowl.
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In that same bowl I added two egg yolks, then whisked it over the simmering water. Obviously, this was my pressure point. Thankfully, the heavens parted and yolks didn’t scramble (!!!). You’re looking for minimal froth and a thicker consistency. I took it out of the heat to finish the process.
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Slowly and carefully, I ladled a small amount of butter at a time into the yolk mixture and whisked. I continued that process until the mixture is thick, coats the back of the spoon, and I can lift the whisk and draw an infinity sign over the surface. (not pictured)
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I finished it off with a few drops of lemon juice, because I didn’t want it to be sour. I think the mixture could have been thicker but overall I was pleased with the outcome.
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Yes, that’s the back of a clean plate. At least I hope it was clean. If I turned back time and tried to make this during lab, I don’t know if the result would be the same. This was practically the first time in a long while that I’ve made hollandaise, and yeah, I could say that I redeemed myself a bit. I may or may not have danced like an idiot after it was all done. I’m not saying.

Earlier this morning our instructor made hollandaise again, just to emphasize a point that it can be done. I think it was the best hollandaise I’ve had so far because he brought hollandaise home – it’s a butter sauce after all, and it tasted like butter and so much more. It wasn’t painfully tart, and I could totally imagine that kind of sauce with eggs benedict. In other words, my weekend will be filled with hollandaise.