Homemade Mayonnaise

Adding to the list of condiments that are a million times tastier when made fresh at home than bought from the store, I bring you hand whisked mayonnaise. I’d be lying if I said my arm wasn’t tired after whisking constantly for about 10 minutes, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. I don’t even like store-bought mayo, but this fresh stuff is a whole ‘nother story. It’s smooth and tangy.

It doesn’t taste processed or greasy the way the stuff in a jar does. And the best part: it doesn’t have all those nasty preservatives and add-ins. It’s a pure, simple recipe that you can customize however you want. The flavors are so unique and bold that I suggest a simple serving like above, with steamed artichokes. Dip those leaves in the mayo one by one and scrape off the good stuff with your teeth. I can’t think of a better way to enjoy it.

If you own an immersion blender, you don’t even have to worry about a tired arm from the whisking. It literally comes together in 30 seconds. Just dump all ingredients in a narrow container with oil on top. Turn on the blender at the bottom and then slowly lift it up, blending the whole time. That’s it! But that’s not how I did it. I made it the old school way — the way chefs were making it for hundreds of years before food processors came along.

Mayonnaise is an emulsion — the binding together of egg yolk with oil. If you make it the classic way — the Julia Child way — you have to add the oil a teeny tiny bit at a time, otherwise the delicate mix won’t come together or, if it’s already blended, it might break. But learning to make mayo by hand, you get an appreciation for the condiment and for the method. I recommend everybody make this at least once in their lives. Who knows? You might never go back to Hellman’s again!

See step-by-step photo tutorial and read the recipe here…

How to Make Butter from Scratch

butter from scratch

See that dreamy yellow stuff up there? Well, it’s butter! And I made that! It didn’t even occur to me that I could make it myself, but it’s actually pretty simple. The only ingredient is cream. Unless you salt your butter, in which case, you also need salt.

The difference between fresh, homemade butter and store-bought is amazing. This stuff just tastes fresh and buttery! I don’t know how else to describe it. Of course, any butter is good butter, but homemade is the best butter.

A note about cream: you don’t want to use ultra-pasteurized, which is heated to a higher temperature than “regular” pasteurized cream to get rid of harmful bacteria. It tends to have a more chemical and cooked flavor and it’s harder to whip up. I used an organic, pasteurized cream from Whole Foods. They also had raw milk (not pasteurized) from grass-fed cows, but a quart was $14! I wasn’t ready to pay that kind of money, but I would love to try it some day. There’s a great article at Chow comparing flavors of different kinds of milk if you want to learn more.

Anyway, butter is made by beating cream until it separates. You need either a hand mixer or a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. If you are going to salt it, try about 1/3 to 1/2 teaspoon per half pound of butter. I like to keep mine unsalted. Read the rest of the post for a step-by-step photo tutorial on how to make butter from scratch.

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Let us know in the comments below if you have any success making your own butter!

Read the recipe and rest of the post here…