Basics : Home-made Mayonnaise

Recipe courtesy of Easy Living (2011).

No shop-bought mayonnaise compares with a home-made version.  Versions to whisk this by hand and blender are given below.

MayonnaiseMakes about 300ml (about 9 1/2 fl oz)

Prep time :  15 mins.  No cooking

Ingredients :
2 egg yolks
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tblsp lemon juice
Pinch of salt
50ml (1 1/2 fl oz) olive oil
200ml (6 1/2 fl oz) vegetable oil
Salt and ground black pepper

To mix by hand :

Step One : Place the egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice and salt in a small bowl and whisk (using a balloon whisk or electric hand-held whisk) until frothy and combined.

Step Two : Combine the olive oil and vegetable oil in a jug.  Pour it very slowly, drop by drop, into the egg mixture, whisking constantly.  As the mixture thickens, start adding the oil in a steady stream.  Continue until all the oil has been incorporated and the mixture is thick.

Step Three : Season with salt and black pepper.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge.  Will keep for about seven days.

To make in a blender :

Step One : To make in a blender, replace one of the egg yolks with a whole egg.  Place the whole egg and egg yolk, mustard, lemon juice and a pinch of salt into a blender.  Blend for a few seconds to combine.

Step Two : With the blender on low, pour combined oils in a very thin stream into the egg mixture.  If the lid has a small removable hole, pour the oil through this.  If not, keep the lid on and lift its corner to add the oil.

Step Three :  As the mixture thickens, start adding the oil in a steady stream.  You may have to stop and start the blender to stir down the mayonnaise as it thickens.  With the machine running, continue to pour the oil.  Stop pouring when the oil is incorporated and the mayonnaise is thick and glossy.  Season to taste with salt and black pepper.  Add more lemon juice if required.

Ideas to try:

  • Mayonnaise can be easily flavoured.  Chopped, fresh herbs like basil, tarragon, parsley or chives are tasty additions, as are crushed garlic cloves, chopped anchovies, capers or chilli.
  • To make tartare sauce (perfect with fish), stir in 1 tblsp each of capers and chopped gherkins, plus 2 tblsp of chopped parsley and 1 tblsp chopped tarragon (optional but good) to 200ml (6 1/2 fl oz) mayonnaise.  Season to taste.

Tips:

  • Stand the mixing bowl on a folded, damp tea towel while you’re making mayonnaise.  This prevents the bowl from moving as you whisk.
  • Use a tasteless vegetable oil like sunflower or groundnut oil with just a small amount of olive oil added.  By blending a peppery olive oil with a blander vegetable oil you get a lovely rounded flavour.
  • The mixture may separate if oil has been added too quickly.  To remedy this, simply whisk up another egg yolk and gradually whisk it through the separated mixture in small amounts.

Smoked Haddock Fishcakes

Home-made fish cakes really are worth every minute spent making them.  For a change, try adding a few chopped cooked prawns to the basic mixture.

smoked haddock fish cakes

Makes :   10
Prep time :  30 minutes plus chilling
Cook time :  30 minutes

Ingredients:
450g (1 lb) floury potatoes
25g (1oz) butter
Salt and pepper
700g (1 1/2lb) smoked haddock fillet, skinned
100ml (4 fl oz) milk
125g (4oz) sweetcorn
Grated rind of 1 lemon
2 tblsp (30ml) each chopped fresh chives and parsley
Salt and pepper
50g (2oz) plain flour
2 eggs
125g (4oz) fine fresh white breadcrumbs
1 tblsp (15ml) sunflower oil

Step One : Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until tender, drain well.  Mash with the butter and season with salt and pepper.

Step Two : Meanwhile, poach the haddock fillet in the milk for about 10 minutes or until it begins to flake.  Drain and break up fillet into large pieces.

Step Three : Add the cooked fish, sweetcorn, grated lemon rind, chives, parsley, salt and pepper to the mashed potatoes.  Leave to cool.

Step Four : Shape the mixture into tend equal sized rounds.  Season the flour.  Dip each round into the seasoned flour, then the beaten egg, followed by the fresh white breadcrumbs to coat.  Chill until ready to cook.

Step Five : Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan and cook the fishcakes for about 3-4 minutes each side or until they are golden brown.  Keep warm in a low oven if cooking in batches.

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