BMLTs for lunch - in honor of the homemade mayo

Homemade mayonnaise has always been something I've wanted to tackle. I've heard it's lighter - as in the fluff factor, not necessarily calorie count - and tastier due to its freshness. So, with a little leftover bacon in the fridge, I set out to make bacon-lettuce-and-tomato sandwiches with homemade mayo for lunch.

It's another one of those recipes that seems daunting until you actually realize that it's just a basic emulsion of oil, egg and seasonings. (An emusion, just in case anyone needs an explanation, is just a mixture of oil and otherwise non-mixing ingredients that becomes cohesive after it's whipped to death. If it's done correctly, the ingredients won't separate.)  Apart from the muscle required to beat the emulsion into a fluffed frenzy, it's pretty easy and takes about 10 minutes to prepare. And you probably have all of the ingredients on hand. Here's the recipe I used, courtesy Alton Brown.

Homemade Mayonnaise
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 2 pinches sugar
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 c oil - canola, safflower or corn
  1. In a glass bowl, whisk together egg yolk and dry ingredients. Combine lemon juice and vinegar in a separate bowl then thoroughly whisk half into the yolk mixture.
  2. Start whisking briskly, then start adding the oil a few drops at a time until the liquid seems to thicken and lighten a bit, (which means you've got an emulsion on your hands). You'll notice tiny bubbles forming.
  3. Once you reach that point you can relax your arm a little (but just a little) and increase the oil flow to a constant (albeit thin) stream. Once half of the oil is in add the rest of the lemon juice mixture.
  4. Continue whisking until all of the oil is incorporated and mixture is light. Leave at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours then refrigerate for up to one week.
BMLTs: Crisp your bacon on top of the stove or in the oven and toast your bread. While that magic is being worked, tear and wash lettuce leaves (be sure the dry them) and slice tomatoes. Assemble, making sure to shmear the bread with extra homemade mayo, because it's homemade, and enjoy.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, the benefits of such efforts include not ingesting calcium disodium edta, which is is a chemical salt used to separate heavy metals from dyes and other substances. And, oh yeah, it's toxic and results in malabsorption of many vitamins. But it's in Hellmans, Kraft, and Dukes anyways. And commercial mayo gets even sketchier when you select reduced-fat, fat-free (shudder – what is mayo without fat?) and alternative-oil products.

On a completely different subject, I have come to realize that these foodie photos are so much better when taken with our SLR camera. The point and shoot is good for some things, but it just doesn't do the food justice. I vow to use the SLR from here-on-out. That is all.

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