Wouldn’t we be impressive if we had totally planned to make and post homemade aioli and mayo, condiments made almost entirely from eggs, on National Egg Day?!
Yeah, it would be, but we’re not that impressive.
Homemade mayonnaise, however, is very impressive.
Mayonnaise and aioli are basically the same thing: an emulsion (fancy word!) of oil, vinegar and egg yolks. Aioli is just a more specific version, calling for olive oil, lemon juice as the “vinegar” and adding garlic as a flavor. When homemade, both are pretty darn good as they are, but take well to additional herbs, spices, and flavorings.
Be careful if you make flavored mayonnaise, though. You may just eat it straight with a spoon. (We did.)
We had egg yolks leftover from that Pavlova with Fresh Strawberries, which uses all egg whites. Though we could have thrown the yolks away (eggs are not expensive), the very act of wasting any perfectly good “food,” no matter how cheap, gives us chills. We also could have saved them in a little bowl of water in the refrigerator to use within a few days or frozen them for longer-term storage. However, we just don’t have that kind of patience. More importantly, we’ve actually tried to freeze egg yolks and ended up defrosting them into hard, dry cracked yellow erasers.
That obviously don’t erase anything.
So they were useless.
So we made mayonnaise.
You don’t have to wait until you have leftover egg yolks to make mayonnaise. It seems that egg whites are easier to store by freezing than yolks (at least, in our experience), so cracking a few whole eggs just to make homemade mayonnaise will never be a waste. Heck, you could just make mayonnaise, and immediately after, whip up any sort of meringue with the egg whites.
The recipe we used for basic mayonnaise is based on a whole slew of “recipes” we found all over the web. The ideas for flavored mayos are inspired by a section in Tyler Florence’s Eat This Book cookbook.
Basic Mayonnaise Ingredients:
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1½ cups vegetable oil (we used canola)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
salt + pepper to taste
Basic Mayonnaise Directions:
Throw egg yolks and mustard into the bowl of a food processor.
With the food processor running, very slowly pour a slow, steady stream of the vegetable oil into the egg yolks until the “mayo” forms. Add lemon juice and process just to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
Makes about 2 cups of mayonnaise that will keep for about a week.
Variations on Basic Mayonnaise:
Put about 1 cup of basic mayonnaise back in the food processor, and for each of the variations below:
Garlic Basil Mayonnaise:
Throw a bunch of washed and dried fresh basil and 2 cloves of chopped garlic into the food processor with the basic mayonnaise, then process until the basil is chopped. We also though you could just stir prepared basil pesto into mayonnaise, but we didn’t feel like making pesto first.
Spicy Curry Mayonnaise:
Stir in about 1 teaspoon each of curry powder and sriracha hot sauce. Season with black pepper.
Lemon Caper Mayonnaise
Add grated zest and juice of 1 lemon and about 2 tablespoons capers into the food processor with the basic mayonnaise, then process until the capers are finely chopped.