Mayonnaise is said to have been created by the Duke de Richelieu's French chef in 1756. The British had been defeated at Port Mahon on the island of Menorca, and the chef was preparing a victory feast which included a sauce made of cream and eggs. Upon discovering that he had run out of cream, the chef substituted it with olive oil, and named the new sauce Mahonnaise.
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 cup olive oil or other vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice or ½ tablespoon vinegar
- White pepper
It is important that all the ingredients are of the same temperature, preferrably room temperature. If the egg yolks and oil do not emulsify properfly, you might need an extra egg yolk.
A food processor or a blender is the easiest way to mix the mayonnaise, although you can also use a whisk or egg beater.
Mix the egg yolks and the lemon juice or vinegar, at low speed. Add the oil in a slow stream while beating continuously until the mixture emulsifies and becomes creamy. Add salt and freshly ground white pepper according to taste.
If the sauce does not emulsify, try adding 1-2 tablespoons of hot water while beating hard. If that does not help, put 1 egg yolk in a clean bowl and add the failed sauce little by little while stirring.
The sauce can be kept in the refridgerator for 3-4 weeks. It is said that mayonnaise does not emulsify well if there is a thunderstorm nearby.