So, I’m from Texas. This means several things…
- Ranch is good on everything.
- Dr. Pepper is simply a gift from God.
- Everything is better fried (our state fair is living proof of this).
- Paula Deen is the richer, younger version of my paternal grandmother. Add a stick of butter to every recipe.
So, coming from the deliciousness that is Texas food and drinks…I’ve given up a lot for my new lifestyle. Most of it I didn’t mind giving up. Ranch, however, I was very, very sad about. Not that jarred crap you get from the grocery store. I mean…real…good…homemade yummy goodness. Think Cotton Patch ranch or Saltgrass ranch. I’m nearly drooling just thinking about it.
Well, just the other day I was scouring my paleo resource sites for some paleo-approved creamy goodness. I kept coming up with blanks. All are versions of vinaigrette and that is just not what I want! Finally I started searching The Clothes Make the Girl and KABLAM! Creamy Italian dressing! One of the requirements of this dressing was a homemade mayonnaise to which she also has a great recipe on her site for. I looked up the mayonnaise recipe and after reading through it, I was a little scared since the mayo seems to be a little temperamental.
Well, what do you learn if you don’t make mistakes?? So, I grabbed an egg and a lemon from the fridge and set them on the counter to ‘warm up’ for about 4 hours. Then…I meticulously followed every detailed step to creating this yummy deliciousness.
- Your ingredients must all be at room temperature; the egg, oil, and lemon juice want to mingle in a cozy embrace. UPDATE (June 7, 2010): I just made a fresh batch and I cannot stress this whole “room temperature” thing enough. I let my egg and lemon juice sit on the counter top for about 4 hours before starting the blender process, and my mayo came out perfectly, dreamily creamy (see photo below).
- Take your time. And then go slower than that.
- Look at the expiration date on your eggs. Add about a week. Write that date on the lid of your storage container so you know when to toss your mayo (if it lasts that long).
- Do not use expensive, fancy extra-virgin olive oil; the olive flavor is overpowering. I use the grocery store brand “light tasting” olive oil. It barely tastes like olives which is not so good for green salads, but is awesome for mayo.
Homemade Olive Oil Mayo
- 1 egg @ room temp
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice @ room temp
- 1 1/4 cups olive oil (light, not extra virgin) @ room temp
1. Place the egg, dry mustard, salt, and lemon juice in the blender. Add 1/4 cup of the oil and whirl until well mixed – about 20 to 30 seconds.
THIS IS THE IMPORTANT PART!
2. The only remaining job is to incorporate the remaining 1 cup oil into the mixture. To do this, you must pour very slowly… the skinniest drizzle you can manage and still have movement in the oil. This takes about three minutes or so. Think about three minutes during a WOD; it’s a fairly long time. Breathe. Relax. Drizzle slowly.
If you’re using a blender, you’ll hear the pitch change as the liquid starts to form the emulsion. Eventually, the substance inside the blender will start to look like regular mayonnaise, only far more beautiful. Do not lose your nerve and consider dumping! Continue to drizzle.
Let me stress this if it was not already stressed enough in Melissa’s post.
I had to force myself to really, truly wait until everything was room temperature. I would pick up the egg and say, “It’s probably fine.” Then I would remember Melissa’s words. Just chillax and take your time. The payoff is nothing short of amazingness. And FYI, while pouring, check out how thin my stream was in the pics below. It took me nearly 5 minutes to pour the entire cup into the food processor.
Now. What to do with all this yummy goodness??
Make Creamy Italian Dressing of course!!
Creamy Italian Dressing
Makes enough for two side salads or one entree-sized salad
2 tablespoons homemade mayo
1 tablespoon vinegar: balsamic, wine, or cider (I like pomegranate balsamic! Also, no wine vinegar for you if you’re doing a Whole30 cleanup.)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/8 teaspoon Italian herb blend (or pick one: dried oregano, rosemary, or basil)
salt & pepper, to taste
1. Crush the dried herbs with your fingers, then add to mayo, along with garlic. Blend well with a fork.
2. Mix in the vinegar, then taste and season with salt and pepper. If your dressing is too thick, add either vinegar or water – a 1/4 teaspoon at a time – until it’s the right consistency. Keep in mind that it will get slightly more liquidy as you toss it with your salad ingredients.
NOTE: I’ve given instructions for making the dressing “to order.” I don’t recommend making a big batch in advance because I think the texture will suffer. Plus, it really takes no time at all to blend together. Your tastebuds will thank you.
I used balsamic vinegar because that’s all I really had. I’ll definitely be trying the wine, cider AND this pomegranate balsamic she speaks of. The great thing about this one is for every salad, you re-make it so it can be different every time!! And don’t worry…it literally takes less than 15 seconds to make. Oh…and it was oh so very good on my spinach salad.
P.S. I also used the mayo in a homemade egg salad…mmm…mmm. good!