While handmade mayonnaise is a skill all home cooks should master, this blender version is so easy, you may find yourself never buying packed mayo again. The key, according to chef Javier Ramos, is in chilling the oil, which helps prevent the mechanical heat generated by the machine from warming the ingredients too much, leading to off or rancid flavors. When using this method, however, you must use a small food processor or blender, preferably smaller than 1.5 liters. If your machine is too large, the yolks will sit under the blade and be unable to catch the first few drops of oil, which forms the emulsion on which the condiment is based. And because the oil you use will be the most dominant flavor in your mayonnaise, make sure it is fresh. If in doubt, buy a new bottle.
Measure oil and place it in the refrigerator until cold, at least 1 hour or overnight.
When ready to make the mayonnaise, add the cold egg and yolk, lemon juice and mustard to the blender and turn on its lowest setting. Drip by drip, begin adding the chilled oil until the ingredients form a smooth emulsion. After adding the first 1/4 cup or so in this manner, continue adding the rest of the oil in a fine stream.
Immediately scrape the mayonnaise into a bowl and stir in the salt, pepper and cayenne (or hot sauce), if using. Use right away or transfer the mayonnaise to an airtight container and chill for up to 2 weeks.
Because olive oil has such a distinct flavor and is best used in small doses, it should be blended with a neutral oil to tame the strong taste. Many mayonnaises in restaurants are made with a blended oil that’s 70% neutral oil and 30% olive oil. For the recipe here, substitute 1/3 cup of the neutral oil with your favorite olive oil.
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