The Homemades

Here is a post about the Homemades. Now, these could be anything, and it might even become a series, but for today, we will start with 2 items that you can buy at the grocery but are much better when made at home. And both are pretty simple. If you have a blender, the first item is quite simple. In the name of being fancy, we’ll use the first item as an ingredient in the second item.

The stars of the show are: Homemade Mayonaisse and Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing. Of course, both of these items might not be for you. Some people can’t stand mayonaisse, and probably even more of you can’t stand that funky blue cheese. The point here, however, is to show you just how easy it is to make these things at home, so you don’t have to rely on chemicals and preservatives and the like. If you want to take a look, here’s the ingredient list for Hellmann’s Real Mayo, and for an “over the counter” Blue Cheese Dressing. The dressing especially has lots of things in it that I don’t want to eat. The mayo is less bad, but Soybean Oil and Calcium Disodium EDTA aren’t something that I want to deal with, necessarily.

For those wondering about the soybean oil, I’ll try and get into that in a future post, but you can check out this post at Mark’s Daily Apple about oils, if you like.

So, the Homemade Mayonaisse:

You will need 1 egg yolk, 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard (or a teaspoon of dijon if you prefer), juice of half a lemon, oil and salt to taste. Light tasting olive oil is my preference. The main goal is to stay away from vegetable/corn oils and other processed things.

To start, add the egg yolk, mustard, lemon juice and 1/4 cup of oil to your blender. Fire it up at a low speed so you don’t splatter the egg yolk all over the inside of the blender. Once the ingredients are incorporated, you will begin adding the remainder of the oil. The key here is to add the oil in a very, very, very slow stream. Just a little bit slower than you think you should. OK, I may be exaggerating a little bit, but try to keep the oil stream as slow as possible. If it’s too fast, your mayo will be a little bit loose. Still tasty, but not the consistency that you’re looking for. The last time I made the mayo, I noticed a different sound coming from the blender when the mayo was set. I had a little bit of the oil left, and at that point I was no longer worried about the speed of the oil stream. Just add the remainder to the blender and let it combine. Taste and season with salt. The mayo can be used on top of burgers, in homemade chicken salad, as a dip for raw vegetables, or anywhere else you might use mayo. It will last in your fridge for about a week, unlike the store bought brand. Have you ever seen that stuff go bad?

The other place to use mayo is in your Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing. The dressing is even more simple than the mayo. There is some dairy, obviously, with the blue cheese, and you also need some acid. Buttermilk is good here. You get to personalize the dressing through your selection of your favorite blue cheese, be it roquefort, maytag, stilton, or any other choice out there. You will need about 4oz. of cheese for the dressing. Feel free to add more, or reduce the amount, depending on the amount of chunkiness and blue-cheesiness that you prefer.

To start, combine your blue cheese crumbles, 1/2 cup of buttermilk, and a fair amount of freshly cracked black pepper. Mix together, in a bowl, while gently mashing the cheese. After a couple of minutes, add 1/2 cup of mayo. Homemade is best. Mix for another minute or two until everything is combined. That’s all there is to it. Allow flavors to “marry” by putting the dressing in the fridge for a bit. This will make “4” servings. But really it’s 3 for me, because I like a little extra dressing on my salad. I like wedge salads with a fair amount of blue cheese dressing and bacon. The iceberg is purely a vehicle. Sometimes I use romaine, just to mix things up. I imagine this dressing will last for about a week in the fridge, but honestly, it never makes it this long.

Speaking of iceberg lettuce, or even romaine, for that matter, my least favorite thing is washing and drying lettuce. I know you can buy the pre-washed stuff in the bag, but I’m not totally convinced about this. So, my new favorite piece of kitchenware is a salad spinner. Most of the spinners that I have seen are pretty expensive. Like $25+ expensive. However, Rachel has one that we got at IKEA. I think it was under $5. I found one at Meijer for $10. This makes washing and drying lettuce way easier, and you can use the bowl as a salad bowl. Double duty. Not too bad.

So, that’s it for the homemades, for now. I think we should unofficially call it “The Homemades: Part 1”, because I’m sure there will be more.

Thoughts? Comments?


PS – Engagement photos here. Go check them out.