For a while now, I’ve been meaning to post up Sensi’s Mayo. We’ve actually made it twice, and I’ve even attempted it at home a few times to varying degrees of success. It’s one of those things that is so simple yet so hard to master (a bit like chess) that I’ve been putting off writing it up until I had it sussed. That is until now…
Find below the ultimate Mayo recipe as written by the girlfriends dad, he’s mentioned it to me before and I’ve even tasted it a fair few times, but the other day, Nick, finally reckons that he’s mastered it and offered up the recipe, it turns out we make masochistic Mayo, see what you think…
Mayonnaise has nothing to do with Mayonne in France, but comes from a corruption of Mahon capital of Minorca.
As is usual, the food is produced from what the local house-wife has had to hand over the years. It has been internationalised, and corrupted, ever since.
Traditionally whisked by hand, this version uses the modern kitchen convenience of a food processor. Those who have time to spare and are of a masochistic bent may like to follow the ‘correct’ method given after the the ‘cheats’ version .
- EGG -any egg will do- small, medium or large- quail to ostrich. The larger the egg the greater shading upwards of the dry ingredients has to be.; i.e. A very small hen’s egg will need approx. ¼ teaspoon less mustard than a very large hen’s egg. Try to use a room-temperature egg.
- MUSTARD- Dry Coleman’s powder is best; fancy French mixes are all very well but usually come with flavours you don’t want, too little solid matter and too much vinegar. If you are reduced to using a pre-mixed mustard, be very careful about adding more vinegar and nearly double the tea-spoon rate( all in all- avoid).
- PEPPER- as always, freshly milled. Black, white(hot, no taste) or three pepper mixes, it matters not.
- SALT- anything in the cupboard marked ‘Salt’.
- SUGAR- anything in the cupboard marked ‘Sugar’. Icing sugar might be tricky as it could congeal, brown sugar may stain the finished sauce an unwanted colour; but ,Hey! We all need a little sweetness.
- OLIVE OIL- There are whole libraries dedicated to books and treatises on which olive oil you should use for what purpose, just pick up the nearest bottle to hand that has enough in it. E.V.O.O. Has the distinctive nutty/oily taste, Sainsbury’s cheapest gives a lighter, less pervasive, less intrusive finish; mix and match as you like and by all means use any other good quality oil such as sunflower, grape seed, etc. I would avoid sump oil or used chip oil, though.
- VINEGAR- Try to use white wine, sherry or cider vinegar. Other vinegars will work but may impart flavours you don’t want. Try not to use malt vinegar or spirit vinegar, these are boring.
- WATER- out of the tap, hot or cold.
Assemble clean food processor and plug in. DO NOT SWITCH ON AT THE WALL
- With the lid off, crack your egg on the side and prise apart allowing the yolk and white to fall into the machine. Retrieve the broken shell bits that fell in with a spoon, a fork or a knife. NOW YOU CAN SWITCH IT ON.
- Add 1 ½ teaspoons of mustard, ¼ teaspoon pepper, ¼ teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons sugar.
- Whizz. Stop. Make sure all ingredients are off the side of the mixing vessel and whizz again.
- Take the oil and, while the machine is running, DRIP and I mean DRIP oil into the mix. 1 drip a second to begin with, gradually increasing to a very thin string of oil. Give the mix little rests from oil as you go but keep it wizzing. This process should take about 2 minutes to get to the ‘string’ stage. ( Here’s the science: what you are trying to do is against nature. You are trying to persuade oil and water to mix. Without ultra-sound or heat this is tricky, so you make it easier by introducing a very finely divided matrix which absorbs some water, the mustard powder, and which allows the oil to form an emulsion with the powder/ water mix. Adding oil too fast over loads the equation and stability is lost. What happens then is that the emulsion ‘splits’ reverting to a goo of egg & mustard with oil floating around on top. Messy!! )
- Keep the string going and the emulsion will thicken and thicken until the mixer audibly begins to slow and you have what looks like unprocessed rubber around the blades. Add max. 1 table-spoon of vinegar. This will cause the gunge to ‘slacken’ somewhat, now add some water, say 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mix moves freely again. Then restart the string. Adjust the water/oil rate until you have ½ pint of the most delicious Mayo in the world.
As in all cooking ‘what you put in, affects what you get out’. So, fiddle the ingredients to suit your taste. Use a particular oil, less salt, more sugar etc.,etc.
HARD COOKS VERSION – [Masochistic]
Ingredients as before.
- Separate out the white from the yolk by cracking/halving the egg and pouring the yolk from half to half discarding the white.
- In a dry mixing bowl put the yolk and dry ingredients and beat with a whisk until smooth and pale.
- Add, and this is really tricky, oil drop by drop while whisking and whisking.
- Weep as your hand and arm muscles spasm, but keep whisking.
- Continue as above with the thickening/thinning process until you have the Mayo as before.
- Resolve to use machine next time