The boy and his bride came for dinner Sunday night which is always fun and interesting, especially when it comes to what to serve. The bride doesn't eat beef, only chicken. I had some breaded chicken cutlets ready to go and homemade bread so I decided to make chicken sandwiches with Parmesan cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and mayo. Except I had no mayo. I always have mayo. I searched the refrigerator, even prompting a quick cleaning out of all the science experiments lurking on the bottom shelf. No mayo. Then I searched the pantry - which again included a quick cleaning and tossing of old bread, half opened packages of stale cookies and cereal boxes that were put away with nothing in them (the mister's handiwork.) No mayo.
Next I opened the door to the cave (the closet under the stairs) and entered. Every manner of thing resides in this closet, including a six-pack of unopened glass Coca-Cola bottles dated 1968, two pairs of mini-binoculars, doll body parts (don't ask), serving plates, platters, trays and canned food. But no mayo. I opened and entered the cave three different times in an attempt to find a jar of mayo because I always have mayo. No mayo. I did find a pair of ice skates I thought I'd given away and my jar of thumbtacks and a full bag of Callebaut semi-sweet chocolate! Score!
Even though I always have mayo, I could not find any...so I had to make my own. Which, when I think about it, was the right choice all the way around. Homemade mayo is easy and quick to make and it tastes SO much better than the jar stuff. Especially if it's doctored up a bit with minced garlic or capers or olives or jalapeno or just about whatever you can think of! More on that in a minute...one egg yolk, combined with lemon juice, white wine vinegar, a little salt, canola oil and about 6 minutes, is all it takes to make a great tasting mayo.
Adding in minced garlic really brings up the flavor -and changes the name from mayonnaise to garlic aioli! That's right, just by adding garlic you've got aioli sauce. Talk about presto-chango! We were talking about that, right? Because making your own mayo or garlic aioli, changes whatever you're putting it on from routine to yummy. Mayo is fine, garlic mayo or aioli is finer. Presto-chango! (FYI: Aioli purists would use olive oil instead of canola.)
This morning as the mister was going out the door to Global Headquarters, I asked him if he noticed the mayo on his sandwich last night, he said he did and he thought it was good. So I told him I made it, since we were out of mayo. He immediately stopped, set down his bag of tricks (briefcase) and opened the door to the cave. I laughed and told him I had already looked THREE times and we didn't have mayo. Two seconds later he pulled out a jar of mayo from the bottom shelf. That man is a freak of nature!! He said he remembered seeing it when it was in the cave looking for a light-bulb. He smirked. I smirked more. I always have mayo. Guess it's time to clean out the cave.
Homemade Mayonnaise - Garlic Aioli - Adapted from Epicurious
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
3/4 cup canola oil, divided
for aioli: 1 clove garlic, minced, black pepper to taste, optional
Combine egg yolk, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in medium bowl. Whisk until blended and bright yellow, about 30 seconds.
Very, very slowly add 1/4 cup of the oil to the yolk mixture, stream it in as slowly as possible, whisking constantly, taking about 4 minutes to do so. This step is important so the oil doesn't separate from the egg but emulsifies. Gradually add remaining 1/2 cup oil in very slow thin stream, whisking constantly, until mayonnaise is thick (mayonnaise will be lighter in color). Cover and chill. Can be made up to 2 days ahead. Keep chilled. Makes about 3/4 cup.
To make aioli, add 1 minced garlic clove to the egg mixture.