Faster, Easier, Tastier Homemade Mayo

I used to make mayo at home with the food processor method. I only made mayo for special occasions because this method has a high probability of failure (emulsions are tough!), has more prep and clean-up than I like, and makes fairly large batches for two people.

That all changed after I read this post from The Food Lab. J. Kenji Lopez-Alt figured out that a hand blender does a much better job at emulsifying the ingredients and it is much faster and easier to clean up than the food processor. Check out how easy it is with this video from Serious Eats:

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See how easy that is? I was amazed when I tried it. This method makes it easy to produce small batches, too. I’m not buying mayo from the store any more.

If you don’t have a hand blender, you should pick one up. I use ours twice as much as the regular blender.

An added benefit of making mayo at home: You will have regular access to delicious aioli. We always keep a squeeze bottle of this stuff in the fridge to dip, spread, and devour.

Try adding these things to your mayo to make it even better:

  • Garlic
  • Vinegar
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • Bacon fat
  • Dill
  • Herbs like basil, parsley, or oregano
  • Cilantro and lime juice
  • Indonesian ABC Extra Hot Chili Sauce (aka everything I wanted Sriracha to be)

Melon Granita

Granitas are a perfect way to use up ripe, in-season fruit and make a refreshing dessert.

I bought a golden honeydew at the grocery store, but didn’t get around to cutting it up and eating it until it was so ripe that it wouldn’t last long after being cut up. I settled on making a granita, an Italian ice-based flavored dessert that has varying consistencies across Italy.

golden honeydew melon

I searched through David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop (one of the best frozen dessert recipe books out there) and came across this recipe for a melon granita. Perfect.

In general, granitas are made with fruit pureed with sugar and water. You can make one with nearly any fruit. Some people even make them from strong coffee and sugar. Use this recipe as a base and generalize.

Melon Granita

  • 1 melon (honeydew, cantaloupe, or golden honeydew will work)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Pinch of salt

Cut the melon in half, remove the seeds, cut into slices, and remove the outer peel and rind. Put the melon and the rest of the ingredients in the blender until completely smooth.

Pour this mixture into a large, flat baking dish, or any large dish to maximize the surface area of the liquid, and put it in the freezer. (Make sure you have a flat space to set it!) After an hour, break up the large chunks of ice with a fork and mix it in, then put it back in the freezer. Start checking and breaking up the ice again every 30 minutes until you reach a consistency you like. If it freezes too hard, leave it out on the counter for a bit and mix it back up again.

Serve it in a glass or small bowl with whipped cream, or simply eat plain, as pictured above.

 

granita ingredients in the blender

Pouring the granita liquid into a baking dishPrecariously in the freezer
breaking up the granita with a forkbreaking up the granita with a fork

Golden Honeydew Granita

 

This was delicious and lasted us for a while. I’m going to experiment with more granitas in the future. Here are some ideas:

  • Adding alcohol
  • Watermelon and mint
  • Campari and orange
  • Champagne and some fruit (blackberries, raspberries, or, as David Lebovitz recommends, black currants?)