Homemade Mayo – Or, What’s for Dessert?

mayo

I remember as a child watching my mother on special occasions preparing homemade mayonnaise and thought her to be the most magical person ever.  I mean, who makes homemade mayonnaise?  Even though her status as “most magical person ever” temporarily changed during my teenage years to less flattering titles (until I finally came to the realization that I may have not been all that magical myself) she continued to make homemade mayo.  That being said, she is quite magical again.

Now that I have joined the ranks of magical moms I decided it was time to defend that title by venturing into the culinary world of permanent emulsions otherwise known as whipping up some mayonnaise.  I felt like a superhero when my children dipped their fingers into the velvety goodness I had produced out of (almost) thin air and eagerly asked for more.  They were ready to eat it with a spoon, that’s how good it tastes.   It’s delicious!!!

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs (I liked this recipe because it doesn’t waste the egg whites)
  • ½ tsp ground mustard
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 TBSP vinegar (next time I will try it with 3 TBSP or 44ml of lemon juice to increase the acidity – see below)
  • 2 cups vegetable oil

Place all ingredients except the oil in a blender and start mixing at medium speed.  Slowly, VERY slowly, pour in the vegetable oil.  All of a sudden, you will notice your mixture emulsify and thicken and there you have it:  homemade mayo.

Of course it wasn’t until after a healthy dose of egg-salad made with my delicious mayo that I decided to do research on the risk of contracting salmonella by ingesting homemade mayonnaise.  The general consensus is that the risk is very small, but that there are precautions you can take to make it almost bullet proof (which I haven’t done of course, but since I survived my childhood, I am keeping my fingers crossed that we will skate by this time again).  The Food Research Group of the Leeds Metropolitan University in the UK conducted a study on how to prepare “safe” homemade mayo (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1365-2672.1999.00473.x/full). According to them, you should use at least 20ml of acid (lemon juice or vinegar) per egg yoke to kill any bacteria that might exist AND let the mayo sit out at room temperature for 24-72 hours before refrigeration to let the acid do its job.  Yes, at room temperature!  I had used slightly less than 20 ml (one TBSP corresponds to 14.79 ml) and diligently refrigerated right away.  Next time, I will increase the acid in my recipe just to be on the safe side, but above is the recipe that I used today and I have not broken out in a fever yet…  Again, the risk is extremely low as it is, and if you are worried about salmonella then eating that medium/rare steak or interacting with your pet lizard should be out of the question too, but since it’s such a hot topic, I wanted to include this info.

Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any more insight into the topic of food safety or if you would just like to share your thoughts!

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