Note: Today a friend sent me a link to Huffington Post’s milk mayonnaise recipe. She wanted me to make it with coconut milk. I’ve been doing that since 2012. She asked me to reblog so that others would know how to do this. Below is my riff on Mr. Leite’s fabulous recipe with the additional twist of making it vegan.
“A feeling of emulsion swept over me.” ~S.J. Perelman, 1904 – 1979, humorist, author, screenwriter
Look at me.
Dressed head-to-toe in black I stand before you, apron double-tied around my waist, arms crossed, wire whisk in one hand, a rubber spatula in the other, defying those who dare. If you look closely the smirk is happiness, but you should look even more closely. At the eyes. There is something quite wonderfully wild held within them. You see, while one beckons challenge, the other glistens triumph.
I am a saucier. That group is small, difficult, obsessive, generous, crazy, curious, spontaneous, quiet, eternally optimistic. We silently whiz around the kitchen, fingers in everything, hands snagging ingredients, eyes on the prize. There isn’t a part of any meal we don’t touch. If it is liquid, if it can run, if it pours, ladles, spoons, drips, dribbles, drops, plunges, slurps, sluices, IT is ours. The jus from the meat? Ours. The soup in the bowl? Ours. The raspberries waiting for purée? Ours.The marinade, the jam, the margarita mix? Ours, ours, OURS! The sweat from your brow? You can keep that, but we’ll grab the energy. It serves our ultimate purpose.
Here is something you should know. If someone can make a sauce from chicklets, water, and mint, then, when you taste it, a smile lights up your face? That person is a born saucier. There are never defeats, only challenges, curiosities, thoughts, trials, experiences. When we land, it is always on our feet, head raised, ears listening for the applause, eyes upon the next prize.
The prize this week was the challenge of an eggless mayonnaise and a vegan mayonnaise. The son of my boss has been diagnosed with an egg allergy. His current girlfriend is vegan. Honestly, with all my personal food issues (read celiac) I never really considered denying myself the simple pleasure of a delicious homemade mayonnaise. Nothing compares to the vibrancy of flavors. Fresh egg yolks and a mixture of a beautifully fruity extra virgin olive oil and vegetable oil, a dash of freshly squeezed lemon juice, sweet and spicy crushed garlic, zippy Dijon mustard, and crunchy sea salt, make the dullest of French fries sing and dance upon my deserving palate. Sometimes a sauce is worth living for, or at least, dunking a fry into.
My two poor people desperately wanted something to slather upon their sandwiches and douse their salads. They got that plus the added benefit of something so delicious that a piece of bread must be used to sop up every last little drop.
Portuguese Milk Mayonnaise and The Vegan Version
Much respect goes to David Leite and his blog The David Blahg. As I tooled around the web I found his recipe. Unfortunately, the person who posted did not attribute it to him. Two days later I found him. The recipe was word-for-word his. It is tasty and I have given you the above link. I, of course, had to fool around with the measurements and flavors.
When you make an emulsion sauce it is really helpful to have a small mini-chopper or immersion blender to really get the consistency you want. I am in-love with my immersion blender. Well worth the money I spent.
- 1/3 cup very cold milk mixed to the 1/2 cup mark with very cold heavy whipping cream OR 1/2 cup coconut or almond milk (try to get unsweetened. It really makes a difference in the flavor.)
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice or your favorite vinegar
- zest from a whole lemon
- 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- a few turns of the pepper mill (I used black pepper. Use whatever you have on hand.)
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/3 cup beautifully green fruity extra virgin olive oil (buy the best one you can afford) mixed with 1/2 cup vegetable oil (you may want a little more vegetable oil for a really thick mayonnaise)
- sea salt to adjust seasoning
- Get everything gathered (ingredients and your tools) before starting
- For the novice, place the mixing bowl on a damp towel. This will help keep it stable while you are using your immersion blender.
- Place the milk/cream mixture or the soy milk into the bowl with the lemon juice, zest, garlic, dijon, pepper, and the 1/4 teaspoon salt.
- With the blade part of the blender inside the bowl, turn the immersion blender on (follow manufacturer’s instructions for operating). Whiz up the milk, etc. to frothy.
- Here is the fun part. The key to making an emulsion work is all about control. The first six oil droplets are key to emulsifying together these two different kinds of liquids. You must be very aware, very clam, very sure, and thoroughly mix-in each droplet of oil into the milk mixture before adding the next droplet. Once you’ve done six droplets, then it’s a slow, steady stream of oil while the blender is whizzing. Don’t rush this. Relax and enjoy adding in the oil and watching a pourable liquid turn into something akin to whipped cream.
- Once you have the consistency you are looking for give your mayonnaise a taste. Adjust the seasoning by stirring in a little more salt to your taste.
- Do place into a container with a secure lid. I used canning jars.
- Store in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days.
- Feel free to use this in as many ways as you can think.
Notes: Once you’ve mastered making an emulsion sauce do try it with different flavored oils, and the addition of other ingredients. It’s easy to make a flavored mayonnaise simply by stirring in an additional flavor after you’ve made the mayonnaise. For the more advanced souls, how about flavor infused milks as a base?
Now I brag. So long ago, at the C.I.A., when I made my first emulsion sauce, I accomplished it on the second try. Yes, there are those who do it right the first time. Most people need a lot more trials before they come close to success. The people who got emulsion sauces on the first try were people who understand control. That’s the ultimate trick to making an emulsion sauce. It’s all about CONTROL.
The best part of making your own mayonnaise is that you know exactly what you are putting into the bowl. Hellman’s has sugar. Miracle Whip is a concoction of high fructose corn syrup and sugar. Depending on what you have in the house, the number of ingredients is simple. You really just need the milk, an acid, and the oil.
Good luck. I’m off to my next challenge with my eyes on the prize.
“Mayonnaise: One of the sauces which serve the French in place of a state religion.” ~Ambrose Bierce, 1842 – 1913, editorialist, journalist, short story writer, fabulist, and satirist