If you’re a condiment-aholic like me, Whole30 eating can often make you feel like something is conspicuously missing from your eating life. Once you start reading the labels of the condiments you so often reach for, sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and other corn and soy products seem almost impossible to avoid – let alone a host of other synthesized ingredients.
Last August, during our first round of Whole30, we came across many of these unfortunate discoveries; some expected, some less so. We knew our favorite brand of ketchup would not be allowed, due to it unfortunately containing high-fructose corn syrup. But we were rather surprised to find that the number one ingredient in that big tub of taco seasoning sitting in our pantry was corn meal! Why on earth would you put corn meal in taco seasoning? You are probably assembling your tacos into a corn taco shell and perhaps topping them with a corn salsa. Isn’t that more than enough corn?
More recently, I was at the grocery store shopping for a jar of plain mixed nuts. Nothing weird, just roasted and salted mixed nuts. I figured this would be easy. I reached for a package that had one of those earthy-crunchy, this-MUST-be-good-for-me-names like “simply good,” or something like that, figuring it would be just those basic ingredients for which I was looking. Nope. They felt it was necessary to season plain nuts with sugar.
I shared this shopping experience with a family member, in a conversation about Whole30, and they pointed out what should have been obvious: corn, sugar, soy… these are all subsidized crops. If broccoli was a subsidized crop, scientists would have been paid to find ways to work broccoli syrup into my ketchup or broccoli meal into my taco seasoning. A pretty messed up way to decide what ingredients make it into your product, for sure.
But I digress…
So, you’ve taken to snaking on raw veggies instead of chips and M&M’s (congratulations!), but you can’t help feeling like you are eating rabbit food. All of this would be so bad if you could just dip them in some bleu cheese dressing or ranch dip, right? Nope, that will have to wait until next month. But all is not lost!
Ick! You may be thinking. That is probably because you have never made your own from scratch with quality ingredients. Believe me, it’s a different beast entirely. I was actually not prepared for just how delicious homemade mayo would be the first time that I made it. I wondered why I had waited so long to try it. Perhaps I was just a bit intimidated. You know, shouldn’t such emulsified emulsions be left to the experts like Hellman’s, Duke’s and that quaint little French bistro you love so much? Na! It’s actually quite easy as long as you know what to do.
LET’S GET STARTED
When making emulsions, things can tend to move a bit quickly and really require your full attention. For this reason it is important to have all of your ingredients measured out an in one place along with all of the equipment you might need no farther away that an arm’s reach. This is best practice for any type of cooking and professional chefs call it mise en place, which means “put in place;” to have all of your equipment and ingredients prepped and ready to go before you start with the actual cooking action.
Small ramekins like these are extremely handy in making sure you have all of your ingredients measured out and ready to go as you need them. Here I have one whole backyard-fresh egg plus one egg yolk, freshly-squeezed lemon juice, Dijon mustard, extra light olive* oil and my handy immersion blender.** (The one we use is no longer made, but click the link for something similar. This is one kitchen tool that is always being used and worth adding to your kitchen!) I managed to forget to include it this photo, but I also use apple cider vinegar in this recipe. I find that using both lemon juice and vinegar gives a pleasing balance between their two acidic styles.
*When choosing your olive oil, go with something that has the lightest color possible. The darker the color, the more flavor it has. For this purpose, you want something with a very light and unobtrusive flavor (this is why most commercial mayo’s use canola or soybean oil).
** You will see a number of techniques for making your own mayo on the internet. Some recommend a blender, some us an immersion blender, and some swear that whisking by hand is the only way. I employ a hybrid of these techniques. I start the emulsion with an immersion blender and then I transition it to a bowl and whisk it my hand. This seems to work well for me but it might not be right for you. Try different techniques and find out which one gives you the best results. My only word of caution about immersion and traditional blenders (especially high-powered ones) is to use their lower settings so as to minimize the heat that they generate. Too much heat and your mayo will break (more on this later).
Start by adding the eggs, half of the mustard (1.5 tsp), half of the lemon juice (1.5 tsp), and half of the vinegar (1.5 tsp) to a tall, narrow and cylindrical container (I find this old blue plastic cup to be just about right) and blend until thoroughly mixed.
Begin adding the oil by creating a steady and very slow stream of it going right down the shaft of the immersion blender. This is very important. The slower and more carefully you add the oil, the better your emulsion will be.
Don’t try to add all of the oil (2 cups) in one go. Slowly add some oil then blend for a bit, add some more, then blend again.
Once you have added half of the oil and you have a good, stable emulsion, add the remaining 1.5 tsp each of Dijon, lemon juice, and vinegar. Continue to blending, adding another ¼ cup of oil. Once you have about ¾ cup of oil to go, using a rubber spatula, transition the emulsion to a large mixing bowl. Check for seasoning and add kosher salt and freshly-cracked white pepper to taste.
Continue to add oil, a little at a time and beat vigorously with a hand-held whisk until all 2 cups of oil have fully incorporated into the emulsion. Check for seasoning again and adjust as necessary. You’re done!
- 2 cups of extra light olive oil
- 1 whole egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, divided in half
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, divided in half
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, Divided in half
- kosher salt, to taste
- freshly-cracked white pepper, to taste
- Start by adding the eggs, half of the mustard (1.5 tsp), half of the lemon juice (1.5 tsp), and half of the vinegar (1.5 tsp) to a tall, narrow and cylindrical container and blend until thoroughly mixed.
- Begin adding the oil by creating a steady and very slow stream of it going right down the shaft of the immersion blender. (The slower and more carefully you add the oil, the better your emulsion will be.) Don’t try to add all of the oil (2 cups) in one go. Slowly add some oil then blend for a bit, add some more, then blend again.
- Once you have added half of the oil and you have a good, stable emulsion, add the remaining 1.5 tsp each of Dijon, lemon juice, and vinegar. Continue to blending, adding another ¼ cup of oil.
- Once you have about ¾ cup of oil to go, using a rubber spatula, transition the emulsion to a large mixing bowl. Check for seasoning and add kosher salt and freshly-cracked white pepper to taste.
- Continue to add oil, a little at a time and beat vigorously with a hand-held whisk until all 2 cups of oil have fully incorporated into the emulsion. Check for seasoning again and adjust as necessary.
We have made this mayo two times in the past week and used it in many of the meals that we ate and mentioned in our Whole30 Week 1 Recap. This Whole30 Mayonnaise is a great starting point for many condiments and sauces that you will want to make. Trust me when I say it is worth making and last night during dinner were discussing if we will ever go back to the store bought stuff. Have you taken the plunge and made your own mayo? Any secrets you want to share? We will be sharing the aioli that we made later this week with this mayo.
And before I go, I can’t help but say a quick HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my hubby!
Today is his day and this crazy picture pretty much sums up how crazy his day was. And while most people would take the day off from cooking and being in the kitchen, he wanted to make his own birthday dinner and even kept it Whole30 compliant! He cooked pan-seared duck breast with marinated grilled portobello mushrooms, steamed artichokes and roasted beets.
I realized as we sat down to eat that he really just was looking for another way to eat some of this yummy Whole30 Mayonnaise, but really, can you blame him! Happy Birthday, Chris! You keep life tasty and fun in the kitchen and out! May this year be full of good food, warm times with family and friends and the courage to take leaps as you go after your dreams!