Mayonnaise. One of life's essentials. I love it. My reputation for loving mayonnaise spans seas and continents- I have it on everything. Ketchup, pfft. Don't bother me with that. Take me to Belgium and slather it on thick.
PLUS it's so easy to make yourself! However, one thing that always amuses me is seeing people's faces when they see it made for the first time. We all know that it isn't particuarly good for us, but the sheer proportions of its constituents can be mildly shocking. Just SO MUCH OIL.
Mayonnaise is an emulsion sauce - a sauce made from the combination of fat with oil. These two ingredients aren't good friends, they don't like to hang out. Naturally they separate. And so, extra attention is needed to merge them, just like with a Hollandaise Sauce. The trick is speed, or in fact the very opposite of that. When adding your oil, do so painstakingly slowly, dribble by tentative dribble and make sure that each is thoroughly mixed in before adding the next. If you go too fast, the two will separate and you'll end up with a curdled mayonnaise. See step 1 below too for a way of avoiding splitting.
There is also debate on the type of oil to use. I use groundnut or sunflower. Pure olive oil comes out too bitter for me, although I like to add a dribble at the end for a slightly fruity twinge. Finally, mayonnaise unseasoned pretty much tastes of nothing. You'll need to season it to add flavour and this is another thing that is so epic about homemade mayonnaise - you can totally personalise it - more than you can do with a Hellman's jar! Classic additions are mustard, lemon, salt and pepper, but you can ramp it up a bit with garlic or herbs too if you like.
Anyway - give this a try; it's a classic and an absolute essential for all cooks.
Ingredients (makes about 290ml or 1/2 pint):
2 egg yolks
pinch sea salt
250ml groundnut or sunflower oil
25ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 1 lemon (or to taste)
1. Whisk your egg yolks with an electric whisk for two minutes until they are thick and pale. Add the salt and whisk for 30 more seconds until they are thick and sticky. Some recipes don't have you do this stage however, whisking them up like this makes the yolks ready to receive the oil and tends to avoid them splitting.
2. Continue whisking, but add the oil in a thin, very slow dribble. About a tablespoon at a time, whisking between each and making sure each dribble is mixed in thoroughly before adding the next.
3. Once you have reached the consistency you want (you might not need all of the oil) add the olive oil and beat for a further 30 seconds. Add the lemon juice, mustard and garlic and whisk in. Taste and adjust the seasoning if required.
4. Add any other seasonings you fancy - e.g. chopped herbs, more garlic, etc. This can be kept in the fridge now, sealed, until you are ready to eat it!
This dish of pan fried fillet of sea bream, with tart, creamy lemongrass scented beurre blanc and choi sum makes a delicious main course for any dinner.
Beurre blanc is a classic French emulsion sauce made by combining butter (lots of it) with white wine vinegar and white wine. This recipe takes it Eastwards, flavouring it with fragrant Asian lemongrass. Paired with blanched and buttered choi sum (an Asian green vegetable, I suppose a little like bok choi), dripping under moist white fillets and crisp skin....yeah, happy days.
Ingredients (serves 2):
The fillets of 2 sea bream (get your fishmonger to scale, fillet and debone it for you, or do so yourself)
1 stick of lemon grass, woody outsides removed
500g cold butter, cut into one inch cubes and put back in the fridge
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tsp shallot, finely chopped
300g choi sum, tough ends removed
vegetable oil, for frying
salt and pepper
1. Begin by heating a pan of water until it is on a rolling boil. Plunge in the choi sum, turn the heat off and let the heat of the water cook them. Leave in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes, then drain, slather in butter and salt and keep warm for later.
2. Heat the white wine, vinegar, shallot and lemon grass in a saucepan until it has reduced to about two tablespoons worth. Turn the heat to low and add a cube of butter and vigorously whisk it in until it has melted and incorporated in. Add another, continuing to whisk. Gradually continue adding all of the butter, one or two cubes at a time, and always whisking until all the butter has been added. The sauce should be thick, smooth and creamy. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
3. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan and heat over medium high heat until very hot. Season the skin of the fish with salt and put into the pan skin side down, pressing down as you place it to stop it curling upwards. Saute the fillets for about 3 minutes on the skin side until it is crisp, before turning onto the flesh side for about 30 seconds. Season again lightly.
4. Plate: serve the fillets piled over the choi sum with plenty of that lovely sauce spooned around.
Hello, Mr Sea Bream
Plated and ready
A great accompaniment for cold meats or fish - especially for Gravlax (click here
for the recipe)! This sauce is the traditional accompaniment for it. Pungent with mustard, a nice sharp twang of vinegar, fresh with lemon zest and dill. Creamy and tasty. Keeps in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
Ingredients (makes about 1.5 cups):
4 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 teaspoons runny honey
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup fresh dill, large stalks removed and chopped up
zest of one lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon
1. Whisk together the mustard, honey, vinegar, salt and sugar together.
2. Gradually add and whisk in the olive oil until all combined.
3. Stir in the dill and lemon zest & juice. Taste for seasoning- add more lemon juice, salt or dill as required. Serve.
Whisk the mustard etc
In with the oil
And the dill
Bit of lemon
Serve with tempura, or with grilled chicken, meat or fish. Tasty and simple!
Ingredients - makes one cup
60ml soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 red chilli, chopped
1 inch ginger, julienned
squeeze of lime juice
1 tablespoon white sugar
1. Mix all the ingredients and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning. Leave to infuse and serve when ready!
A basic, but delicious tomato, basil and chilli sauce with oodles of garlic. Serve with pasta or as an accompaniment for various other dishes, e.g. the Las Bombas featured earlier on FoodGoblin - see here
Ingredients (serves 4):
1 250ml can chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 handful fresh basil, chopped
1-2 fresh red chillis, minced
1. Saute over medium heat your onions until soft. Add the garlic and chilli and saute for a further 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and simmer for 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and blend until smooth. Pass through a sieve, return to the heat and add the basil. Stir, remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper and save until you are ready to eat!
Simple and delicious!
I originally cooked this to match the Chilli Chocolate Fondant recipe off this site - click here
to see! I like it with them because the spicy, fragrant cardamom compliments the heat of the chilli in the fondants. You can use this with other things though - with ice cream, with general cake - all sorts!!
Ingredients (serves about 4):
250ml double cream
120g white chocolate
1 cardamom pod, cracked
1 vanilla pod
1. Place the double cream in a pot and bring to a simmer.
2. Slice your vanilla pod in half and scrape the seeds out and into the sauce. Chuck the pod in too. Add the cardamom pod and seeds too.
3. Add the white chocolate and give it a stir until the chocolate melts.
4. Keep it on a low simmer until the sauce thickens up a bit and reaches a coating consistency. Remove the vanilla and cardamom pods and serve!!!
I make raita a lot. Mostly because I quite frequently - and big confession coming up here.....brace yourselves.........I have days where I eat only protein in an attempt to fend off the thick thighs that both my genes and my propensity to bake cakes encourage. This works for me - you must know by now that I love meat. A whole day of sausage or steak (okay, maybe the sausage is cheating a bit) suits me a-ok. And if it keeps the steady stream of male suitors well...steady, then it is a small and tasty sacrifice to make. Okay, so maybe there aren't so many male suitors...but a girl can hope. And continue to bribe affection with food.
ANYWAY. Raita is something that I use to liven up meat. Who says it just has to be just with curries? Tosh. Consequently, as I was saying, pardon the digression, was that I make raita a lot. And this, newly discovered this very weekend, is the tastiest raita I have ever had. Total revelation, thank you father. NO idea where he got it from. The Land of Bob. It's great though. Fresh, slightly sweet, very very fragrant and creamy. I ate it with a spoon out of the bowl at the weekend and I know my standards are slightly odd in general but...that's big.
Give it a try and let me know what you think! Serve with curries (obv.), with chicken, spiced lamb, pork, spiced meaty fish (like a curried monkfish!), spiced prawns - oh god, just everything.
Ingredients (makes about 2 cups, serves 4):
500ml natural low fat yogurt
1 medium onion, diced
2 tsp honey
2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped, plus a bit extra for garnish
2 tbsp fresh mint , chopped
1 green chilli, seeded & finely chopped
lemon, juice only
1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Check for seasoning and add honey/salt extra to taste. Serve!
Who likes Lemon Curd? On toast maybe? Perhaps a nice scone, as a filling to a cake, maybe just chucked on top of ice cream? Anyway, I do. I also like pineapples. I once found a plastic pineapple in a nightclub in Leeds. It was so random and fabulous that I carried it around all night and brought it home, where it now sits on top of my bookshelf, forever immortalised.
This recipe is a delicious, tart alternative to Lemon Curd - use it in all the same ways as you would its lemon'y cousin. Jar it or cling film it up and it will keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks. Perhaps even give it as a gift - whatever you like :D
Ingredients (makes about 2.5 cups):
1 pint of pineapple juice
6 egg yolks
170g white caster sugar
5 tablespoons of cornflour - don't add more or your curd will turn gloopy.
1. Put all of the ingredients in a saucepan and whisk together.
2. Place over medium heat and continuously whisk for about 5 minutes until it thickens.
3. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Once cool it is ready to be used or refrigerated until later!
Now that was just a little bit easy wasn't it!
sugar in a pan
all its other friends
stir stir stir!
I adapted this recipe from one I found in Julie Sahni's Indian cookery book, ‘Savouring India’. If you're looking for a good Indian cookery book, please buy this one - its absolutely excellent!
My parents tell me that if my job prospects ever die out that this recipe is the key to my fortune! I hope you enjoy it too and if you ever spy a chutney jar on your local supermarket shelf with my grinning face looming down from it at you, be a mate and stick it in your basket! Great with curry but equally as delicious in a sandwich or as a side with ham or salty cheese!
Ingredients: makes about 2 cups/500g
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and julienned
2 medium medium ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 fresh hot green chiles, thinly sliced
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1. In a small pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. When hot add the cumin and fry, stirring until lightly coloured, around 30 seconds.
2. Add the ginger and stir for about 30 seconds. Add the mango, chiles, lemon juice, sugar and salt. Mix and reduce the heat to low.
3. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mango is translucent, round 15 minutes. Serve hot, at room temperature or chilled. Can be kept for around 5 days.
Delicious with homemade spring rolls, skewers of prawn, chicken or , or as a marinade for meat or fish.Packs a spicy punch - half the chilli for a milder sauce.
Recipe: (makes approx. 2 cups/1 small bowl):
250 g caster sugar
500 ml water
1 hot red chilli, finely chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic finely chopped
40g ginger/ 1 inch piece, finely chopped
2 stalks lemongrass, finely chopped
30 ml fish sauce
30 ml mirin (Japanese rice vinegar)
1 limes, juice only
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 small handful coriander, chopped
1. Place the sugar and water into a saucepan and boil on medium heat until it forms a syrup, approx. 10 minutes. The consistency should be slightly thicker than water.
2. Add the chillis, garlic, lemongrass and ginger, and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Remove from the heat and add the lime juice, mirin and fish sauce.
4. Leave to cool and add the chopped coriander and spring onions.