Monday, September 24, 2012

Making Mayo

I had a lot of mayo fails in my journey learning how to make mayo... so now I can share my success!

1 egg (can use only the yolk, or the whole egg)
not quite 1 cup *good* olive oil (or other fats.)
1 tsp dijon mustard (must be dijon.)
splash lemon juice or white vinegar
Whey, optional

So, first you bring your egg to room temp. This is important! Don't skip it! You can make half-way successful mayo if you warm up the egg by being whizzed in the blender a bit, but you will be much more successful if it is already at room temp. (Keeping extra eggs in the basement helps this be convenient!)

Then, add egg, mustard, and lemon juice or vinegar to blender. Give a quick whizz at high speed.

Then ready your oil. My blender has a removeable spot in the top of the lid, and I put a funnel in that to make an even smaller opening.

Then this is the next huge help - a peri bottle. You may have one of these leftover from having a baby, if not, they aren't too hard to find. It will help you have a very small sloooow stream. The slow stream is very important for making good mayo. I get be in too much of a hurry if I just use the cup measure.

Turn the blender on high, and start adding your oil (or other fat) slooooowly. Listen! After a minute or two, the sound will change, deepening. When the sound has changed a lot (more of a low sound) then you can start adding the oil a little faster.

Once you are done adding fat, turn off and transfer to dish. It will still seem fairly liquidy at this point.

Once transferred, it will quickly become thicker. If desired, add a tsp or two of whey, mixing in gently. Allow to sit on the counter for a day if you are fermenting with the whey, and then transfer to the fridge. If you think it will all be gone in a week, you can just put in the fridge right away. (Though this is a great place to add whey to your diet!)

Note: If using other oils (I use the late-harvest olive oil from Chaffin Family) be sure they are liquid - you can use bacon grease, palm oil, lard, coconut oil, or just about anything. If looking at peanut or safflower oil, be sure to read "The Skinny on Fats."

I've heard that you can also just put all your ingredients in a cup and use an immersion blender. I'm hoping to try that myself soon.

Cucumber Pops!

Summer is winding down here, but one of summer discoveries was the delight of cucumber pops!

I got these awesome silicone popsicle molds (that have lids for no spillage!) and because of their design, you can squeeze up the frozen goodness.

All you do is peel a cucumber, and put in the food processor. I suppose you could go through the effort to remove the seeds, but I didn't bother. Run the processor for a minute or so, it will all turn to liquid! Then pour into your mold (don't fill to the brim, they expand during freezing) and freeze until solid.

It would probably be even tastier with a pinch of salt, or maybe some fresh mint leaves. Mmm... But even plain, these were a great treat.

Kitchen tips and tricks

There are numerous little things I've picked up that make life easier and wish I knew of earlier....

• Rubberbands on jars to indicate type. I use yellow for fish broth, blue for chicken broth, and red for beef. I always have lots of rubberbands leftover from buying vegetables. We also use rubber bands to mark kombucha bottles for different flavors.

• Cloth around herbs (or paper towels) with or without bag. Instead of going brown, the herbs will just gradually dry. Watch to make sure that the cloth doesn't become too wet.

• Tipping jars at 45 degree angle to prevent glass breaking in freezer

• Peel multiple bulbs of garlic, run through processor, and freeze in ice cube trays for convenient garlic. Also can do with herbs,  bone paste, liver paste, etc.

• Didn't chop things beforehand? Grab a kitchen shears and chop up while in the pot or bowl. Great for salads, frozen green beans, etc.

• Chop the entire head of lettuce or celery or bag of carrots, etc. Put what you don't need for today's meal in a container for tomorrow's. 

• Ziplock bag with holes in it? Store bones and vegetable peelings in there until you are ready to make more broth.

• Rock-hard ice cream turns perfectly scoopable when left in the fridge for a few hours.

• When using the cutting board for many vegetables, do drier items first, then do wet/sticky veggies. And use both sides of the cutting board.

• Those cheap timers they sell for lights work great to turn off crock pots, dehydrators, etc. that didn't come with a timer :)

•When freezing the cheese you shredded, close the bag with lots of air in it, and shake up to loosen the cheese. Freeze in that fashion. After fully frozen, you can squeeze the air out and not have a big frozen clump!

• Looking out for rotten eggs - I've had pretty few, but often I can tell before they go in the bowl because they crack differently than the others in a carton. The thinner shell and/or membrane gives much more easily; and also doesn't protect the egg and it rots.

•Measure your spices in the lid of the spice container. Learn what a tsp looks like inside the lid, and then you can save yourself from always grabbing the spoons.

What tricks have you found?

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