Let’s demystify mayonnaise — one of France’s most versatile and elegant sauces. It is reputedly so difficult to make that only culinary experts should attempt it. Guess what The Everyday French Chef has to say to that? Poppycock. If you have the ingredients on hand, you can whip up a bowlful in less than five minutes. And the results are spectacular. Once you’ve tried it, you may find yourself singing, ‘Ain’t nothin’ like the real thing, baby, nothin’ like the real thing…’
This sauce may be used with vegetables, cold roast meat, or simply with hard-boiled eggs to make one of the best loved starters in the classic French repertoire, oeufs durs mayonnaise, which I offer you today as a bonus.
For a video demonstration showing how to make the mayonnaise, click here.
My neighbors in the French countryside, enthusiastic consumers of mayonnaise, make it so often that they started using a blender, mixing the whole egg instead of just the yolk with oil, salt and mustard. The result is acceptable, but not as delicate as a proper mayonnaise made without the egg whites. I wouldn’t recommend it, especially because you can make the same quantity in the same amount of time using a small spoon, easier to wash than a blender. Different versions of French mayonnaise include aïoli from Provence (garlic mayo) and rouille (saffron-hot pepper mayo), also from the south of France. We will get to them in due course — but once you’ve got the mayo technique down, you can probably wing it. Just have a sip of wine, keep a steady hand, and stir. Easy as can be.
Site news: The Menus section of this site has been updated with new menu suggestions for autumn, including everyday meals and meals for weekends and special occasions, as well as a new page with autumn meals for vegetarians and vegans. Next week I’m thinking of posting a new recipe for fish, probably salmon (but don’t hold me to that), and possibly also a recipe from one of my favorite neighborhood chefs, a specialist in southern French cuisine. In the meantime, happy cooking!