Mayonnaise

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An important part of one’s repertoire, mayonnaise can serve many purposes. The simplest way to serve it is with shrimp, shredded chicken, boiled eggs, julienned celery root, shredded carrots and/or cabbage (the list goes on and on) for a salad (see my posts “Celeri Remoulade” and “Ah, the avocado!”). 

Another way is to mix with crushed garlic (prepared with a mortar and pestle and salt) as a sauce for the Provencal dish “aioli,” which consists of poached fish and boiled vegetables slathered with the concoction. With garlic and a pinch of red pepper like cayenne, it’s rouille, an accompaniment to bouillabaisse…

You can whisk by hand, but it’s much easier with a machine. I have found my mixer to be better than a food processor or blender, because I can control the speed of the beaters. Drop two egg yolks, a teaspoon of imported mustard, and a pinch of salt into a bowl and turn on the mechanism of choice; and then slowly stream in vegetable oil (olive oil is too overwhelming) until you have an emulsified, pale, and polished sauce (no more than a cup). Taste as you go to achieve perfection, and start spreading the love!

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