Posts from the ‘Mayonnaise’ Category

Your Mother


Like a dog, I thought hollandaise would sense the apprehension on me, and not want to cooperate. Good thing this hollandaise was a cat.

We had a demo, then it was our turn to emulsify some magic. I broke my first one right before it was finished. My fault. I added to much butter at once. Patience! Next one, much better. That was last week. I practiced once at home that weekend. Today, we had twenty minutes to make one. A surprise that I aced. And the only one in class that served at temperature! Woo hoo!


2 egg yolks

lemon juice to taste, start with 2 tsp.

6 oz clarified butter, warmed

salt to taste

In a medium saucepan, bring 1-inch of water to a slow simmer.

In a bowl that is safe for use as a double-boiler, whisk (by hand) egg yolks and lemon juice until you reach the ribbon stage. It is what it sounds like. Whisk will make ribbons in egg yolks.

Over barely simmering water, cook the egg yolks while whisking until thickened. Control your temperature by removing from steam. The bottom of the bowl should be just too hot to touch. If you notice the egg cooking on the side of your bowl, check your burner and bowl temperature, and adjust.

Remove bowl from steam. While whisking, add a few drops of warm clarified butter. You are now starting to emulsify. Add a few more drops. Whisk. You will need to put your bowl back on the steam from time to time to keep a consistent temperature. Keep checking this! Your sauce will break if it gets too hot or too cold. It’s a sauce baby. You need to coddle it. You will know when it breaks. It will be a big greasy mess, and you will feel sad.

Continue to add butter slowly until all is added. Add hot water from you saucepan to loosen your sauce if it becomes too thick. (I have always had to do this). Do not over-whisk at this stage. You will be whipping in cool air, which your warm sauce does not want.

Add salt to taste, and more lemon juice if needed.

*Emulsified sauce: an amount of fat (butter or oil) is introduced to a water based liquid

*They can be hot or cold, and the fat is incorporated off the heat to ensure emulsification.

*Hollandaise is a hot emulsified sauce.

*Hollandaise can accompany many fish and vegetables, and of course eggs Benedict.

*Hollandaise is also a foundation for a number of other sauces (mousseline and mustard)

*Hollandaise is one of the five “mother” sauces. Mother sauces are leading or primary sauces.


1 egg yolk

1/4 tsp. vinegar

1/4 tsp. mustard

4-6 oz oil

salt to taste

lemon juice to taste

Whisk all ingredients except oil.

Slowly whisk in oil, creating an emulsion. Mayo will thicken as you whisk. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

*Mayonnaise is also one of the five “mother” sauces.

*Variations include: aioli (basically mayo), tarter sauce, remoulade, and gribiche.

*Herbs, citrus, and other flavorings can be added to make a derivative sauce.

*Mayonnaise is a cold emulsified sauce.

emulsion: a stable liquid mixture in which one liquid is suspended in tiny globules throughout another

lecithin: most common emulsifier, found in eggs and mustard. One end of the lecithin molecule dissolves in fat and the other end of the molecule dissolves in water – bringing the water and fat together.

Culinary school is about learning technique, not recipes. If my recipes seem not exact or not written in a strict sense, this is because I have written with the purpose of getting you to focus on your technique and palate, instead of your measuring spoons and cups. I know it may be hard at first, but soon (very soon), it becomes freeing. I prom promise.


“Mayonnaise: One of the Sauces Which Serve the French in Place of a State Religion.”

-Ambrose Bierce

I hope the holidays have been treating you all well, and you got some needed rest and relaxation. I hope you talked and laughed and hugged the ones you love. I’ve been eating and drinking and not blogging. Bad me. Culinary school starts on Monday, so I expect to be blogging my little learning heart out. I can’t wait to get all my kitchen swag, and start learning about food-borne illnesses for six weeks. Should be great for my OCD recovering self. Seriously, there was a point where my own mother couldn’t use my toothbrush, or deodorant  if such an emergency arose.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day usually fly by with lots of my time spent in the kitchen. Not to say I don’t enjoy every managed minute of it, but this year instead of cooking on the days leading up to the holiday, we ordered pizza, went out for dinner, and opted to have dinner on Thursday night so I could enjoy the long weekend. It worked out swimmingly with plenty of choice bites, time for kisses, board games, and bad-Christmas-movie watching. No rushing to the store for last-minute forgotten ingredients, just blankets and time well spent. So no fancy pants this year, but don’t worry, I made up for it on New Year’s Eve with a night to rule all nights. Dressed to the nines, on my love’s arm, calamari, a whole loaf of bread, duck confit and Negroni’s at Cafe Campagne, and fried apple pie with vanilla ice cream, chocolate Ovaltine cake with ice cream, champagne and Gimlets at Palace Kitchen to ring in the new year. Oh, and Tom Douglas stopped in to check on the night’s success. It was perfectly unpacked so it felt like we were with family.  Entering the new year with compliments, smiles, and holding hands. A great end to a night and a year.


Potato sausage, roasted fingerlings, and red cabbage

Shallot caper mayo, garlic mustard mayo, curry mayo

For a quick way to add lots of flavors to the meal, I made three different flavored mayos for the fingerling potatoes. I used prepared mayonnaise, but these would be even better with some homemade mayonnaise. No time for egg yolks Dr. Jones!

Mustard Mayonnaise

1 tsp. of mustard per 1/4 of mayo (I used garlic mustard, but Dijon, or beer mustard would be great too)

Combine mustard and mayonnaise.

Shallot Caper Mayonnaise

1 tbls. capers, rinsed and chopped

1 small shallot, sautéed until soft in some olive oil

1/2 tbls. finely chopped parsley

pinch of salt

freshly ground white pepper

tiny squeeze of lemon (optional)

Combine all ingredients.

Curry Mayonnaise

1/2 tbls. curry powder

1/2 tbls. olive oil

1/4 cup mayonnaise

a heaping tbls. sour cream or yogurt

Gently cook curry powder in oil for 1 minute

Combine all ingredients.

These would be great on veggies, steak, chicken, pretty much anything on which mayonnaise would be good. And that is basically everything. I have heard this nasty rumor that there are actually mayonnaise haters out there. I would not like to meet any of these mayonnaise misanthropes.

Turn that nose back down, kielbasa with ketchup and hot horseradish is tasty.

"If more of us valued food and cheer above hoarded gold, it would be a much merrier world." - J.R.R. Tolkien