If I am being honest, I have to admit, I’ve been reeling a bit since FBC2013. You know when you work so hard for something for months and months, it goes really well (though you aren’t really aware of it at the time) then you go into “follow up” mode for a week or so, it leaves you a little bit breathless and overwhelmed. Not to mention the fact that, well, life goes on and there is a Food Revolution to organise, end of year projects with my students to complete, a visit from my mum (!) to look forward to, and a summer in France to plan. So yeah, life is a bit crazy right now. What’s grounding me right now is my kitchen. Sometimes when I sit at my desk contemplating my seemingly never-ending “to do” list, all I can really focus on is getting in the kitchen. Making something. Stepping away from the craziness that is my “to do” list and going to a place where I feel completely in control. The kitchen. (well, most of the time I feel in control…)
I’m not up for too many complex recipes right now (though I am always up for a little macaron making… Check out these hazelnut-chocolate macarons I made last weekend. Yeah, this is how I relax, me.) but ever since I received a fabulous selection of canola oil samples from the Manitoba Canola Growers, an FBC2013 Gold Sponsor, I have been thinking about making mayonnaise. With the Vibrant Oil variety. When I saw that it was a gorgeous deep yellow colour, I knew I wanted to make mayo. We don’t often buy mayo but sometimes, you know, you just need a little mayo to, well, dip your fries in…
Ok, not “fries” but oven-baked potato wedges. We happened to have a load of potatoes delivered in our organic box last weekend and I’d picked up some nice steaks so that gave me a hankering for a decent steak-frites. My all time favourite accompaniment for steak is “frites” (or the oven baked wedges in this case) and the perfect accompaniment for fries is mayonnaise. Yes, really. I lived in Brussels for a year when I was younger and developed the sophisticated taste for this combination which, at the time, was considered odd in my native Australia. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not something I eat very often but when I do, there’s nothing better than homemade mayonnaise. And – sssh – it’s so easy in your food processor!
The Vibrant Canola Oil is (according to the website – note this site is no longer live) a cold pressed canola oil “crafted from fresh, pure Canadian Canola seed, with no additives or harsh processing. A whole oil, containing its natural colour, flavour and healthy compounds [that is] ideal for bread dips, salad dressings, marinades, sauces and baking.” It’s produced in Western Canada, from top grade Canola seed grown by local farmers and contains Natural Vitamin E and Betacaroteins which might account for the vibrant colour! In this mayo I used a mix of the Vibrant and regular canola oil.
I used a quick food processor mayonnaise recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s recipe in Around my French Table.
- 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
- 3 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (not grainy)
- between ⅔ and 1 cup mild oil (I used canola oil but you could use olive oil if you want a stronger flavour) - I used about ¾ cup for the consistency I prefer
- Place the egg yolk, lemon juice and mustard in the bowl of a food processor.
- Add a pinch of salt and whir to blend.
- Pouring very slowly, drizzle in about ½ of the oil, (going very very slowly), continuing to whir constantly.
- Once about ½ of the oil is blended in (the mix should be starting to look like mayonnaise by now), you can add the rest of the oil in a steadier stream.
- Keep checking the mixture and stop when it's the consistency you want (some like it a little thinner, some prefer a thicker mayonnaise)
- Season to taste (a this point you might wish to add a little more mustard or lemon juice - make sure you whir to thoroughly combine before you serve).
Fab for sandwiches, obviously. And, of course, it’s wonderful on home-baked potato wedges… Making this will help you feel in control. I mean, if you can make mayo and “fries” from scratch, there’s not much you can’t do, right? 😉
Disclosure: I received the canola oil samples from the kind folks at Manitoba Canola Growers at FBC2013. I was not asked to write this post, nor was I compensated for doing so. All opinions 100% my own.