The past few days have been outrageous. I'm feeling way too damn good. It's making me wonder if my cooking is actually good or if my happiness is clouding my ability to objectively evaluate my food.
I was tired yesterday from a late night and swung by the Redbox. I watched the Artist and 21 Jump Street. The Artist was quite simply enchanting. I love love. What else can I say? And I love the notion of a silent romance- although my romances are anything but. It charmed me, and though I'll probably never see it again, I'll likely remember it for years to come. 21 Jump Street was just hilarious.
My goal today was Mayonaise. I need it for some Potato Salad I'm craving. I wanted to make a spicy Horseradish Mayo, but opted to prepare the Horseradish separately. Below are both condiments.
Although I'm including my recipes, the process for both of these items is more important than the recipe itself. At least for me for now. This is the first time I've worked with either, so I don't want to limit myself to one specific recipe.
3 Egg Yokes*
1 finger's worth of Grey Poupon (about a teaspoon, but I used my finger)
4/3 c. Peanut Oil (and yes, that is supposed to be an improper fraction)
Juice of 1/2 of a Lemon
Salt and Pepper to Taste
If you have a food processor this stuff is a piece of cake to make. I imagine that it's a little more annoying, but still fully within most people's skill set (though maybe not patience level) to do without one. Put the Yokes and the Mustard (Grey Poupon) into the food processor and pulverize for an instant or two. Then, with the processor on, slowly drizzle the Oil into the mixture. After roughly half of the Oil has been mixed in you should start to see it emulsify.** Once all the Oil has been dribbled in, squeeze in the Lemon Juice and Salt and Pepper. Pulse your food processor a couple times to get everything nicely disperse. I don't like Mayo in general, but this stuff is really good. It's mind-boggling just how much fresher and more flavorful this stuff is than what you get in a jar of Hellmann's. All in all it takes maybe 5 minutes with a food processor, so if you have one you have no excuse.
1 8" Horseradish Root
3 Cloves Garlic
1 tbsp Water
3 tbsp Vinegar
Have you ever seen Horseradish Root before? Don't worry, it's not that exciting, but I'm including a picture so you can find it in the store.
I sliced the outer layer off and then chopped it into smaller pieces before mincing it with the Garlic (I didn't have to add this, but it sounded good to me... I know, I know, when doesn't Garlic sound good to me...) in the tablespoon of Water (just to help lubricate everything).
According to multiple websites I consulted, if you get too close to the minced Horseradish and take a whiff, it'll hit you like a fist to the face. I wafted it towards me like they teach you in a high school chemistry class. Some sites recommend doing the mincing outside or wearing a mask or something and all I can say is: lol!!! Seriously, it's not that bad, just don't stick your face in it. There's absolutely nothing that I can sense lingering in the air in my 652 square foot apartment. I will say that I got fairly close a couple times and could feel it burning my eyes like a pungent onion, but then I stepped back for a second and felt immediately better.
Add the Vinegar after 1-3 minutes. Again according to multiple sites, the Vinegar neutralizes a chemical reaction that occurs when the Horseradish is chopped- or something along those lines. Point being, the longer you wait to add the Vinegar the more potent the Horseradish will be. The longest amount of time any of the sites I perused suggested was 3 minutes, so I waited 3 minutes. In retrospect, I should've waited 4 just to be a badass. Anyway, I wasn't eating spoonfuls or anything, but it wasn't too bad. Really nice and fresh tasting. Supposedly it'll last for about a month in the fridge. The Horseradish was organic and I had to go to a Whole Foods to find it. They charged me $1.75.
*In case you don't know how to separate the Yoke of an Egg from the Egg Whites, I'll explain: crack the Egg and then tilt the section with the Yoke back so that it completely cradles the Yoke. It won't be large enough for everything, so the Egg Whites will flow over into a bowl for future use or the sink or trash or wherever. Rock the Yoke into the other half and more of the Egg Whites will fall. After one of two transfers you should have a nice clean Yoke.
**To emulsify is to turn something into an emulsion.***
***An emulsion is when two liquids that don't mix (in this case liquified Egg Yolk and Oil) are mixed together. I realize that sounds contradictory, but if I understand this correctly, it's akin to putting a bunch of black and white dots next to each other on a piece of paper and getting an image that looks gray. They're not actually mixed, but it creates something new anyway. In this case Mayonaise.****
****If I don't understand this correctly, please tell me so (and correct my mistake) in the comments section. Thanks!