Thursday, August 16, 2012

Happy Birthday Julia! Cheers to homemade (paleo) mayo

It would have been Julia Child's 100th birthday this week, and if you've never seen her make (and ruin!) and omelette, you should take a little trip to YouTube.  What I loved about Julia Child was her fallibility... she loved food, loved to eat and then loved to cook, and when something went wrong in the kitchen you just moved on!   Her Mastering the Art of French Cooking is a staple in my kitchen when I need to look up a technique or tradition, and I use her recipe for mayo.

Now, back in culinary school in France Julia would do this by hand with a whisk and a stainless steel mixing bowl (warmed with water of course), can you imagine the forearms she must have had???  I use my food processor, which is a little more fool-proof and less stressful on the wrist.

2 egg yolks*
1 egg*
3 tbs vinegar or lemon juice (I use 1/2 and 1/2)
1/2 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp powdered mustard 
1 cup olive oil

Put egg (2 yolks, 1 full egg) in food processor and pulse until they look 'thick and sticky'.  Add vinegar/lemon juice, salt and powdered mustard and beat about 15-20 seconds.   As your blades are spinning, start adding the oil drop by drop and let it incorporate slowly.  Julia mentions 'watching the oil and not the sauce', and don't try to rush this as the egg yolks need time to absorb the fat (oil) and emulsify the sauce.  Once the sauce begins to thicken you can drizzle the oil a little faster.  That's it. Put that creamy deliciousness in a jar and you're done.

Mastering the Art of French Cooking always has variations on recipes so I'll include a few.  Add some ground chipotle peppers, black pepper and lime zest for a tangy sauce for artichokes, or some roasted garlic for brussel sprouts, or add avocado for a creamy sauce for fish....

Bon App├ętit!  

*Bring your eggs up to room temperature first.  Didn't plan ahead?  No worries, just put the eggs in a bowl and cover with lukewarm water for a minute.

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