Saturday, May 29, 2010


I recently bought the book How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. I started reading it today -- yes, reading a cookbook starting at the beginning (I am a nerd!) -- and ended up making mayonnaise tonight from scratch when I realized I didn't have enough of the storebought stuff for the coleslaw I was making for tomorrow's picnic. I can't believe how easy it was and how great it turned out!

After making it and knowing the few ingredients I used, I decided to take a look at the label on the storebought stuff I had. It is Kraft Mayo with olive oil. Here's the comparison.

  • Water
  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Vinegar
  • Modified Food Starch
  • Sugar
  • Maltodextrin
  • Eggs
  • And contains less than 2% of salt, mustard flour, dried onions, dried garlic, natural flavor, enzyme modified egg yolk, beta carotene (color), lactic acid, potassium sorbate, and calcium disodium EDTA as preservatives, phosphoric acid.
Including the less than 2% items, that totals 20 ingredients. 20! 8 of which are non-natural ingredients.

Want to know what I put in my homemade mayonnaise?

  • Egg yolk
  • Dijon mustard
  • Canola oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Lemon juice
Six ingredients, one of which was pre-prepared (storebought) -- the Dijon mustard, the rest of which are natural. Unfortunately, according to Bittman, Dijon is impossible to make with the equipment the home cook has, storebought is a necessity.

A nice thing about homemade mayo is that you can make it with whatever kind of oil you want: olive oil, grapeseed oil, sesame oil -- really whatever you want. You can also make it with a few different kinds of acid to suit the dish your making or your taste. I chose to use lemon juice and canola oil. It turned out great!

It took about 5 minutes to make and was really simple. I used my stand mixer, but you can use a food processor or wire whisk, too. The method involves slowly adding oil to the yolk/Dijon mixture, then finishing with the salt, pepper and lemon juice.

Try it! You won't be disappointed. In fact, I don't plan to eve buy mayonnaise again!

P.S. In case you're interested, this is the coleslaw I made -- it turned out great!