If you are treating yourself to some gorgeous fresh fish such as hummer (lobster), kräftor (crayfish) or inkokt lax (poached salmon) then it is worth spending ten minutes making a bowl of delicious mayonnaise. Fish oftens tastes so much better if paired with some lovely velvety homemade mayonnaise. If you make your own it will, without doubt, repay a modest investment of time.
Sure, good shop-bought mayo is fine most of the time, but because it has to be pasteurised, it'll never match the creamy delicacy of homemade mayonnaise. If you have splashed out on expensive fish then you really should make your own mayo!
And don't worry, it isn't difficult, although it does need a little patience. Rush it and it will curdle, but take it slowly and the oils will be transformed into a beautiful thick glossy sauce.
I have tried lots of different recipes for mayonnaise before eventually settling on a recipe by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, a Swede-friendly food writer and TV presenter from the UK. I think the recipe produces a perfectly balanced mayonnaise and it turns out perfectly every time. Do try making some, you won't regret it!
• Use very fresh free-range eggs, but remember that raw eggs can be a risk, especially for the elderly and people with lowered immunity, children and pregnant women.
• It is quicker and easier to use digital scales to measure out the oils.
|½||small clove of garlic, peeled|
|sea salt and freshly ground black pepper|
|2||large and very fresh egg yolks|
|½ tsp||English mustard|
|1 tsp||cider vinegar|
|175 g||(¾ cup)||sunflower oil|
|75 g||(5 tbsp)||extra-virgin olive oil (or rapeseed oil)|
1. Crush the garlic to a paste with a good pinch of salt, then thoroughly combine in a bowl with the egg yolks, mustard, vinegar and some pepper.
2. Combine the oils in a jug, then slowly start whisking the oils into the egg mix. It is very important to do this very slowly at the start, adding just a few drops of oil at first. When the first drops have been amalgamated, whisk in a few more. Keep doing this, increasing the amount of oil added each time, until all the oil has been added. (The first time you make mayonnaise it might take five minutes to add all of the oil mixture, but with experience you will be able to speed it up without it separating.)
3. Once you have added all the oil, have a taste and add more salt, pepper, mustard or vinegar if desired.
4. Finally, adjust the consistency by lightly whisking in a teaspoon or two of warm water if it is too thick. (You will probably need to add at least one teaspoon of warm water, but don't add too much or you will end up with salad cream.)
Storing the mayonnaise
Transfer the mayonnaise to a small bowl (to reduce the surface area) and keep covered in a refrigerator. Lightly whisk before serving, adding a few drops of warm water if it becomes too thick.
To make lemon mayonnaise: after step 3 add the zest of one lemon and 1½ tablespoons of lemon juice. Taste and add more juice or zest if required. If the taste is ok, but the mayonnaise is too thick, whisk in a little warm water. Garnish the mayonnaise with lemon zest just before serving.
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