I had a get together with my closest girl friends over the weekend for a fun Saturday night. We all brought snacks and just chatted and pigged out for hours. It was so fun! I made some chocolate fudge and truffles. We had fresh fruit with chocolate dip. There were a few bags of chips and candy but I didn’t have any. One of my friends made a fabulous artichoke dip that was SCD legal. It was just mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, garlic and artichoke hearts. Others had it with tortilla chips but I was more than content to just eat it off the spoon. It was sooo good!
I was determined to make it since it was so simple and I love artichokes. First I made up a batch of mayonnaise so that I would be ready to put everything together the next day. I don’t think I have written about mayonnaise before on this blog. I always thought everyone made mayonnaise and it was so easy it didn’t really need explaining. There are tons of naturally SCD-legal recipes out there so I didn’t bother posting any. I don’t make it often, usually only when I really want it for summer BBQs (I love it on burgers) or for a dip. Lately on blogs and Twitter I have seen a lot of people who have had their mayonnaise fail. I had no idea what they meant. I assumed taste but it seemed like they meant the consistency wasn’t right. I wasn’t doing anything fancy and I think everytime I made it I put in different ingredients. Some I made with only yolk, other times with 1 yolk and 1 whole egg, sometimes with vinegar, sometimes with lemon juice, sometimes with dried mustard spice, others with dijon mustard, often I eye-balled the amount of oil I used.
When I started looking into the common technique that was being used to make mayo, I realized what most people were experiencing. Most recipes say to make it in a food processor and pour the oil in slowly, very very slowly. Every now and then the oil doesn’t mix in, separates, and the mayonnaise doesn’t form properly leaving a big oily mess. I can’t imagine if this happened to me, I think I would cry. I always make my mayo with pastured backyard chicken eggs (limited in quantity so cherished and worshipped in this house!) and very expensive high quality oils, spices and mustard. If I ended up wasting these ingredients just once I would probably have given up making mayonnaise!
I never realized my selective lazyness in the kitchen had saved me from the horrors of mayonnaise gone bad. I coudn’t be bothered to ever try making mayonnaise with a food processor and pouring the oil in a very fine dribble. The first time I ever made it I googled for “easy mayonnaise” or something similar. I found a video showing how to make it with a stick (immersion) blender and never looked back. My first attempt was perfect so I never bothered with any other technique. If you don’t own a stick blender, it’s worth it to buy one. You can usually find a cheap one for about $20 new, or check out second hand shops. There are infinite uses for a stick blender, and often they come with a food processor attachment. That’s the only food processor I use in my kitchen, even to make my nut flour goods. You can even make whipping cream and butter with it. Blender, beater, food processor all-in-one cheap little easy-to-clean package.
1. Pour the egg in first so it’s on the bottom.
2. Add your spices and lemon juice or vinegar.
3. Pour the oil in on top and let everything re-settle (only takes a few seconds).
4. Put the stick blender in all the way to the bottom and turn it on. Watch it mix.
5. Once it’s mostly mixed, slowly pull the stick blender out while it’s still running to mix the top.
If for some reason the mayo doesn’t fully mix, then run the stick blender up and down until it is.
Voila, easy mayonnaise.
If you want to see it in action, check out this YouTube video (just ignore the ingredients – canola oil bad, sugar bad – and don’t worry about going really slowly) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gz0fLT_k3_U
This can probably be used to ‘fix’ ruined mayonnaise that didn’t work in a regular food processor. Just put it in a tall jar/cup and wait for everything to settle. The egg mixture should go to the bottom, the oil on top. Then run the stick blender in it starting from the bottom.
Now for the artichoke dip. Take 1 cup mayonnaise, 1 cup Parmesan cheese (grated), 4 cloves of garlic (mashed/minced), 1 jar of artichoke hearts (about 6-8). Mush everything in a bowl and spread out into a pan or glass pie plate. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes until bubbly.
No crackers required, just eat it with a spoon. Ok if you really want crackers then check out Comfy Belly’s Parmesan Crackers and Mrs. Ed’s Cheesy Sunflower Crackers. I made a combination of those, using sunflower seeds, cheddar cheese and thyme, and they tasted great.
For the full ingredients for my mayonnaise see my Dips & Condiments recipe page.
**This recipe has been linked for the Slightly Indulgent Tuesday over at Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free and for Real Food Wednesday hosted by Kelly the Kitchen Kop.