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Mayonnaise

A common sauce for sandwiches, salads and dressings.

ingredients

makes 1/4 pint (300 ml)
1 egg yolk
1/4 level teaspoon salt
1/2 level teaspoon dry mustard
1 pinch caster sugar (superfine granulated)
black pepper
2/3 cup (150 ml) 1/4 pint olive or salad oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or lemon juice

method

1. Beat the egg yolk in a bowl until thick. Beat in the salt, mustard, sugar and a few twists of freshly ground pepper. Add the oil, drop by drop, whisking vigorously between each addition of oil so that it is absorbed completely before the next drop. As the mayonnaise thickens and becomes shiny, the oil may be added in a thin stream. Finally, blend in the vinegar.

2. The flavour of the mayonnaise can be varied by using a tarragon, garlic or chilli vinegar, or by substituting lemon juice for vinegar. Chopped herbs - parsley, chives or crushed garlic - may also be added when the mayonnaise is finished.

3. Alternatively, fold 1/2 pint of whipped cream into the finished mayonnaise,

4. A mayonnaise may curdle if the oil was cold or was added too quickly, or if the egg yolk was stale. To save a curdled mayonnaise, whisk a fresh yolk in a clean bowl, and gradually whisk in the curdled mayonnaise. Alternatively, whisk in a teaspoon of tepid water until the mayonnaise is thick and shiny.

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