This post is for a couple of my FB buddies who were asking about those homemade dressings. Without a doubt, every single time I’ve gone to the trouble to make homemade salad dressing, it has been received to rave reviews. Yes, it does take a little bit of time. And no, it won’t stay good in your fridge for months on end like the store bought kind does. But if you think about it, why would we want to consume something that has such a long shelf life?
There have been times when I’ve taken this to the extreme, making everything myself from bread, buns, tortillas, pitas, sauces, ketchup, jellies & jams, etc. When my girls were little I had a lot more time for this. However, we don’t eat even remotely close now to how we did back then. The bulk of our diet now is made up of lean meats, loads of fruits and veggies and brown rice….and bread occasionally makes an appearance at our dinner table, but not often anymore.
Now that I’m done with school and I’ve got a very small (by design) training business going, we’ve settled into a bit of a more normal schedule and I’m finding more time to get back to doing these things. Yesterday, I made a delicious salad for supper and we enjoyed it with this homemade Caesar dressing that I found over at Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. I love her site. I use it often for recipes and have never been disappointed. She makes a lot of things herself vs. buying them at the store and I really like that.
You can pretty much find a homemade recipe for any dressing or sauce out there. You can find my favorite BBQ sauce recipe here.
Today I will be making up a homemade batch of mayo to be used later in the week for potato salad. So, I’m going to share that recipe today. Homemade mayo is the bomb and nothing at all like what you get in the store. I think once you try it, you’ll be hooked. We don’t use it a lot, so I don’t mind making up a batch now and then.
Okay, so first the Caesar Dressing. This stuff is so good. My picky little Nanner Head will even eat it, which is really saying something. I made up enough for us to all have some with our salad last night, Brian has some to take to work for his lunch and I have enough for my lunch today too, that will finish it off. It literally takes 10 minutes to make. I use my immersion blender and just mix it all up right in my handy dandy Ball plastic jars so I can put it right in the fridge.
Homemade Caesar Dressing (from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe)
1/4 C. mayo (I use homemade)
1/4 freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 T. fresh lemon juice (one large lemon, juiced)
1 T. Worcestershire Sauce
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 large clove garlic
1/4 C. olive oil
Just put all into a mixer or you can put in a jar like I do and mix with an immersion blender. Super easy!
And now for the mayo recipe. My Mamaw makes the BEST potato salad and I have mastered that recipe. The girls and Brian actually squeal with joy when I make her potato salad, and especially when I use the homemade mayo. It’s so creamy and flavorful…and I say that even though I’m not a huge mayo fan. But this stuff is GOOD. It takes a bit more time than the Caesar, but if like me, you don’t use it often, it’s definitely worth the effort.
Homemade Mayo (from What’s Cooking America)
2 egg yolks, room temperature*
1 whole egg, room temperature*
1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice, plus more if needed**
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
Big pinch freshly-ground white pepper
Up to 2 cups olive oil
*** For best results, the fresher the egg the better since you are using raw eggs in this recipe. If you plan to refrigerate your mayonnaise, then choose a refined oil such as pure olive oil or sunflower oil. An unrefined oil, such as extra virgin olive oil, will solidify when chilled and cause separation later as it returns to room temperature.
Put the egg yolks, egg white, lemon juice, mustard, salt, and white pepper in the work bowl of the food processor or blender; process for 10 seconds or more, until creamy.
With the food processor or blender running continuously, pour in the oil very slowly in driblets at first, to start the emulsion process. Add 10 to 15% of the oil at this time. The first addition should be small and gradual. Wait about 30 second between additions.
When the sauce has definitely thickened, you may add the oil in a thin stream. Do not stop the machine at this point, but cease pouring every few seconds to be sure the oil is being absorbed. Add about 50% of the oil at this time.
Then continue until the remaining 1 1/2 cups of oil are incorporated. You may not need to use all the remaining oil at this time.
Stop the machine and check the mayonnaise for taste and consistency. Adjust the seasonings and, if the mayonnaise is very thick, process in additional drops of lemon juice or warm water to thin. The mayonnaise may be used at this point, or you can process in some of the remaining oil for a thicker sauce.
Transfer the finished mayonnaise to a bowl or jar and store in the refrigerator. If not using right away, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The sauce will keep for a good week. The fresher the eggs used, the longer the mayonnaise will keep.
Makes approximately 2 to 2 1/4 cups.
Precautions for Preparing Mayonnaise:
IMPORTANT: All the ingredients must be at room temperature. If necessary, eggs may be immersed in warm water for 10 minutes to bring them up to temperature before breaking them into the blender jar.
Since raw eggs are being use, only use the freshest eggs you can buy (the fresher, the better). As an egg ages, lecithin, a protein that acts as the central emulsifying agent, breaks down and the power of the egg yolk to stabilize the mayonnaise weakens. You may also use pasteurized eggs.
Eggs keep the fat (oil) and the liquid (vinegar or lemon juice) of the mayonnaise evenly blended together. If egg yolks weren’t used to emulsify the mayonnaise, the heavier liquid would sink and the lighter fat would float just as they do in vinegar and oil dressing.
Never use aluminum bowls or saucepans to prepare mayonnaise, as they will turn the mayonnaise gray. Stainless steel, enameled, plastic (food processor) or glass may be used.
Add the oil very slowly, especially at the beginning.
Since homemade mayonnaise has fresh eggs in it, the mayonnaise should not be left at room temperature for more than a couple hours, as food poisoning is always a concern.
Repairing “Turned” or “Broken” Mayonnaise:
Mayonnaise frequently breaks when stored overnight in the refrigerator and should be reconstituted before being used. If mayonnaise breaks at any point, it can be brought back together by beating the broken mixture bit by bit into a fresh egg yolk. As soon as this new mixture begins to thicken, the broken mayonnaise can be added more quickly.