Saturday, February 25, 2012

From the Kitchen Witch’s Kitchen

Part one:  Amazing-naise

Just in case you’re one of the few people who hasn't tasted it yet, Amazing-naise is my own home-made mayonnaise with a twist, and one of the most popular brews I came up with in my kitchen.  I’m proud to say I’m one of a long line of master makers of lovely stuff in the kitchen.  For a really long time I actually thought that gene skipped me, but thanks to one of my new friends, the pretty perky Petra, I have seen the oven light, smelled the lovely smell of freshly baked cookies and got with the recipe.  Yes, Yan is not the only one who can cook – I CAN too, and not just ‘cos I read so good. 

For those of you who have daughters that still need to do home economics or whatever it’s called in your part of the world, at school – don’t let her!  That was where my irrational perception of my own domestic in-abilities first started.  Not to let the past hit us on our behinds or anything, but it took me making my own wedding dress to finally let me realize I can sew and like I mentioned, Petra only recently enlightened me to my own cooking skill.  So, on to the mayonnaise, or as we all know it today; Amazing-naise.

The history :  The consumer industry’s need to add preservatives to everything is what drove me to my grandmother’s well worn Royal Recipe book, which I had on loan from my master maker of lovely stuff in the kitchen mom - which turned into a gift - dankie Mamma ;) Fortunately I have never been one to stick to recipes and luckily at that point I had big bunches of beautiful green Basil in my garden in Hopefield, and the rest – as they say – is history.  So here is the recipe:

1 handful of fresh Basil
1 egg
1 teaspoon of mustard
1 tablespoon of sugar  
Add all of the above IN THIS ORDER in your blender and blend until everything is combined together completely, then add…

1 tablespoon of white vinegar
Blend again, just to combine and then, very very slowly, almost one teaspoon at a time add

1 Cup of vegetable oil. 
When you've added half of the oil and the mixture isn’t runny anymore, add

1 tablespoon of lemon juice
Now add the remaining oil …. still slowly but now not so crucial anymore.

Secrets and tips:
In my opinion the secret is the adding of the oil - real slow AND fast blending speed.   I have once used an electric beater and it also worked but I felt the beater was getting too hot.  Bottom line:  oil slow, mixing speed fast.

The mixture will be quite bubbly in the beginning
What the mayo looks like when it's right

The herbs:  My favourite is Basil but I have made this with Coriander (cilantro), which worked nicely.  I’ve tried using Rocket leaves (because I love the peppery taste) but that didn’t work, it was quite runny which will still be ok for a salad dressing but not what I was after.

Coriander or Cilantro
Spices:  When I make regular mayonnaise I use honey instead of sugar - you can add any spice you like when making regular mayonnaise to spice it up, I’ve done some spicy mayo using paprika and fresh chili peppers.  All spices must be added together in the beginning and blended together before you add the vinegar.

Oil:  I use canola oil, it is light, got lots of good stuff in and doesn’t have a strong flavor, olive oil’s flavor is too strong but I’m sure you can use it if it works for you, it didn’t for me.

Quantities:  You’ll see that it is pretty much one of everything, and doubling, tripling or however many-ing of the recipe works, I can fit five cups into my blender and it was still as perfect. 


Our own lovely home made honey and mustard mayonnaise 

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