The most expensive mayonnaise in the world

Happy New Year!  So here we are, the children are back at school – hoorah, I mean, oh lo! I miss their constant chatter so much.  Alarm clocks are set again, the work calendar is way more fuller than my ‘social’ calendar and all thoughts turn to ‘being good’, ‘losing a few pounds’ and ‘possibly going tee total because I made such a tit of myself again on Just Dance 4.’

So what to write about for my first post of the shiny new year?  I’m seeing a lot of lovely virtuous food; smoothies, low calorie meals, antioxidant salads on many blogs and in all the magazines and online food resources. So, I’ll write about mayonnaise.  Good old fashioned uber-fattening mayo.  I’m not trying to sabotage diets, hell all the comments above ring true for me but we attempted to make mayonnaise -THREE times so I’m getting a blog post out of it.

Attempt number one was made by Adam.  We were having burgers for dinner, Adam was cooking, we had no mayo – you absolutely need mayo for burgers and wedges.  He got out the recipe, plonked all the ingredients in and went for it – it didn’t work, and it almost spelled the end for my trusty hand blender.

Attempt number two was made by me – very, very smugly.  I’ve made mayonnaise before thought I, I can so do this before those buns are toasted.  So, ingredients are weighed out again and I carefully, very, very slowly and carefully drip 420ml of oil into the mixture.  It looked like something Hellman’s could only dream about.  I was smug, I admit it.  I think I might have even done a little smirk.  And then it split.  In a second, literally, from creamy delight to watery salad dressing.  And it nearly spelled the end of old trusty, the hand blender.

I should tell you about blenders and me.  I want a Kitchen Aid.  I’ve always wanted a Kitchen Aid but they are the best part of £500 and I just can’t do it.  If only I had a husband who worked in America every month, where they make Kitchen Aids and they are less than half the moolah that they are here. Oh, wait a minute!  I have got a husband who works in America every month.  In fact, he’s in America right now, or at least somewhere flying high over the Atlantic.  Hmmm.  Anyway, and then there’s the colour.  Which colour?   It’s too special to go for a ‘normal’ colour, so not cream, or silver or black.  I love the pistachio green, and of course the baby blue is lovely.  But then there’s the turquoise and yellow – oh the yellow… Anyway, the thing is, if I buy a cheaper kitchen blender thingy then I’ll never buy a Kitchen Aid, because I’ll already have a blender and I definitely won’t be able to justify the Kitchen Aid then.  And so it goes on.  And so I make everything by hand or with my £15 Argos Morphy Richards hand blender.  And what a war horse that hand blender is.

I digress.  Mayonnaise.  So, we had burgers and wedges, and no mayonnaise.  And the smug look was wiped from my face, and it spread over to Adam’s.  We couldn’t make attempt number three as we had used ALL the oil in the house.

Attempt number three was a joint effort the next day, after a trip to the shops just for oil. The atmosphere was tense.  It was our first real challenge of married life.  Except for an almighty argument in the lighting department in John Lewis in Peterborough the day after Boxing Day, but never mind about that, this is all about the condiments.  So the radio was turned off ‘for total concentration’ and the ingredients were weighed out.  I dripped the oil, slowly, methodically.  Adam was in charge of the blender and joy to the world we got mayonnaise; sweet, sweet mayonnaise.  Well not sweet, garlicky actually.

Third Time Lucky Mayonnaise 
Behold the creaminess!
I used this recipe from the wonderful Ottolenghi: The Cookbook because Yotam, the man, made it sound so damn easy! And he recommended using a stick blender; you know I have one of them.  It’s his mother Ruth’s recipe and I loved the story of him going home to Israel and coming back with a bag full of jars containing mayonnaise made by his mother’s own fair hand.  Was it worth it?  Actually, yes it was.  I would go as far as to say it’s the best mayonnaise I’ve ever tasted.   I stopped adding the oil when I got to 420ml – the recipe states 500ml but, I lost my nerve and it looked and tasted perfect.  Can you blame me? 
Marvel at the whisked peaks!
420ml sunflower oil
1 egg
3 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp cider vinegar
3/4 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp caster sugar
15g fresh thyme (coriander – stalks and all is suggested in the recipe, I used thyme instead because I had no coriander – I wasn’t trying to be defiant)
  • Put the egg, mustard, garlic, salt, sugar and vinegar in a large mixing bowl and give it a blast with the stick blender.
  • Start adding your oil very slowly.  I used a teaspoon and dripped it in. 
  • Keep the blender running until your arm goes dead and you have to stop as cramp is creeping up one side of your body and you think you might pass out. Or, until you’ve incorporated all the oil, whichever comes first.
  • Add the herbs right at the end.
  • Bottle and store in the fridge for up to two weeks.
  • Talk about mayonnaise almost non-stop to everyone and anyone.

Pah! Hellman’s? Oh I make my own mayonnaise…


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