The summer is here and salads are on the menu. As are fresh shellfish like crab, prawns and lobster. So wouldn’t it be handy to get to know how to make your own mayo, to serve alongside? Now before we start, we will offer a preliminary Health Warning! Proper mayo contains raw eggs – and whilst Irish eggs are strictly monitored in production, and usually perfectly safe and free from bacterial contamination, there is a small risk involved in eating foods containing raw eggs. Which we are obliged to point out! So, for the elderly, anyone sick or pregnant and small children, we advise it’s best not to serve them anything which contains raw eggs. Anyone else willing to have a go, read on.
Place two Irish free range egg yolks in a bowl. Add 1 tsp Dijon mustard and ½ tbsp white wine vinegar. Whisk all these ingredients together till well blended. Whisk in a dash of oil from 300mls of sunflower oil, olive oil or Irish rapeseed oil, to amalgamate. Continue whisking the oil in, drip by drip, until the mix begins to thicken and emulsify. You can add the oil in a thin stream then, still whisking all the time, but don’t add too quickly your mayo will separate. If this happens, see below. The finished mayo should be a nice thick creamy consistency – thin it down with a tiny drop of warm water if it is too thick. Season with salt and freshly ground white pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice or drop of extra vinegar if you want it a little sharper.
Chef’s tip here – if your mayo separates or curdles during the process, whisk in a drop or two of very hot water, which may rectify the situation. If not, place another egg yolk into a clean bowl, very slowly whisk in the curdled mayo drip by drip, then continue whisking in the oil drip by drip. This should bring the mayo back together.