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The task: Making mayonnaise
The pro: Peter Hoffman, chef-owner of Savoy (70 Prince St at Crosby St, 212-219-8570) and Back Forty (190 Ave B between 11th and 12th Sts, 212-388-1990).

Making mayonnaise: Step 1

Illustration: Atsuhiro Saisho

Step 1


Break an egg, separate the yolk from the white and place the yolk in a medium-size mixing bowl.

Making mayonnaise: Step 2

Illustration: Atsuhiro Saisho

Step 2


Squeeze the juice from half a lemon into the bowl. Add two teaspoons of Dijon mustard, a pinch of salt and one grind of black pepper. Whisk together.

Making mayonnaise: Step 3

Illustration: Atsuhiro Saisho

Step 3


Select a quart of a neutral oil like grape-seed or canola (Hoffman adds a Mediterranean flavor by blending in extra-virgin olive oil). Drizzle it in a very fine stream while rapidly whisking with the other hand—the mixture should gradually thicken. If you see a buildup of oil on the surface, whisk until it is completely incorporated before adding more.

Making mayonnaise: Step 4

Illustration: Atsuhiro Saisho

Step 4


Stop adding oil when you have reached your desired consistency. As a sauce, it should be just thin enough that you can spoon it onto a plate; as a dip or spread, it should be thicker. If the result is too thick, you can thin it with a little water.

Making mayonnaise: Step 5

Illustration: Atsuhiro Saisho

Step 5


Taste the mayonnaise and add salt as needed. Add more lemon juice for acidity if necessary.

Note


Using a food processor in place of a whisk is an acceptable technique, although it will change the character of the mayonnaise: A machine-blended version will be creamier and thicker due to the mixer’s power.—Daniel Gritzer

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