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Too scared to make your own may­on­naise? You’ve been liv­ing in fear for too long. Here’s my foolproof method, plus some tasty ways to make a sauce that will help any dish sing

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - On Sunday - For more ideas on how to pimp this may­on­naise recipe, go to de­li­cious.com.au

FOR years French chefs in tall white hats with the sort of bad breath that curls your toes have tried to bam­boo­zle us with may­on­naise.

But I be­lieve any­one with a de­cent stick blender and the abil­ity to fol­low sim­ple in­struc­tions can make a good may­on­naise in sec­onds. Dis­cov­er­ing this trick from Masterchef UK win­ner Mat Fol­las sent me on a cru­sade to ban­ish may­on­naise demons from these shores. But now I also want to show you how to cus­tomise that may­on­naise to add pep to your bar­be­cues, sal­ads and din­ners.

THE BASE MAY­ON­NAISE

To make the ba­sic mayo, care­fully crack an egg into the base of a stick blender can­is­ter, mak­ing sure the yolk doesn’t break. Add 1 tbs Di­jon mus­tard, a pinch of salt and the juice of half a le­mon.

Gen­tly pour in 350ml grape­seed oil, again tak­ing care not to break the yolk. In­sert the stick blender, mak­ing sure the blades com­pletely cover the yolk.

Blend. Af­ter a sec­ond or so you’ll see white rib­bons of mayo form­ing around the stick blender head. Now slowly pull the blender up through the oil so the mayo comes to­gether. Taste. Sea­son with more le­mon juice and salt as re­quired, (and I sus­pect it will be re­quired). Then push the blender back down through the mayo to in­cor­po­rate all the oil. Serve.

PIMP­ING IT

Cus­tomis­ing any­thing is about us­ing flavour com­bi­na­tions to make a dish taste like it is ob­vi­ously from one part of the world. For ex­am­ple, to give the ba­sic mayo recipe a French twist, swap the le­mon juice for white wine vine­gar, add some thyme, and keep the other in­gre­di­ents – Di­jon mus­tard, grape­seed oil, salt and egg.

Tak­ing this as our start­ing point, let’s pimp our French-in­spired may­on­naise by us­ing the same tech­nique but by sub­sti­tut­ing a few new in­gre­di­ents. Smoked may­on­naise: Hip­sters love ev­ery­thing pick­led and smoked but ev­ery­one will love this dress­ing.

Stir in a few drops of smoke flavour­ing to the may­on­naise. You can also sub­sti­tute 1 tbs cider vine­gar for the white wine vine­gar to step up the flavour.

Add a few drops of maple syrup on each dol­lop of mayo to com­plete the hip­ster pic­ture. Great on fries with bat­tered and fried pick­les.

Ja­panese may­on­naise: Use 1 tbs rice wine vine­gar in­stead of the white wine vine­gar, and add 10 drops Maggi sea­son­ing, 1 tsp mus­tard pow­der and 1 tsp soy sauce, and then the raw egg and oil. Use peanut rather than grape­seed oil. Taste and ad­just by ad­ding vine­gar and Maggi. This umami bomb is great served with a bucket of prawns and some le­mon wedges. To in­ten­sify the flavour, add hon­dashi and gar­lic pow­ders, di­luted in the vine­gar, and use less of the Maggi.

Salsa verde may­on­naise: Blitz a gar­lic clove with a bunch of pars­ley (thin stalks and leaves), half a bunch of basil leaves, 1 tbs ca­pers, six an­chovy fil­lets and 100ml olive oil. Con­tinue un­til it’s a smooth puree. Add the whole egg, salt, the juice of a le­mon and 250ml grape­seed oil. Blend to make the mayo.

Gar­nish with crispy ca­pers and your choice of torn basil leaves, diced gherkins or mint. Serve with steak or roast lamb.

Thai may­on­naise: Grind the clean roots, stems and half the leaves of a bunch of co­rian­der with 100ml peanut oil to form a paste. Add 1 tbs fish sauce, 1 tbs lime juice and a grate of palm sugar. Slip in the egg, 250ml peanut oil and blend us­ing the ba­sic tech­nique. Sea­son with more fish sauce and lime juice. Use to dress a Thai slaw, or on chicken slid­ers.

MAYO MAY­HEM (l-r) salsa verde, Korean, miso ba­con, and wasabi may­on­naise (recipes at de­li­cious.com.au).

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