Food historians can't agree on the origin of world's most famous sauce. It is generally said to have been created by the chef of the French admiral Plessis, duc de Richelieu in 1756, to celebrate the victory over the British at the port of Mahon (in the Balearic Islands, Spain), during the Seven Years War.
If you prefer, you may use only one type of oil. I prefer to use 50% vegetable oil / 50 % olive oil to balance lightness versus taste.
If using a hand-held mixer, put the egg(s) and mustard in a deep, but fairly narrow flat-bottomed bowl. Put the oils in a container which can allow them to be slowly poured into the egg mixture. Begin to add the oil as you beat, using a blender, a little at a time, adding more oil as each bit is incorporated. When a thick emulsion forms, you can add the oil a little faster. The whole process takes 3 to 5 minutes.
If using a food processor, add about ¼ cup of the oil to the egg(s) and mustard at the beginning. Turn the machine on. While it's running, add the remaining oil in a steady stream. Avoid running too fast and for too long.
Add the lemon juice, then season with salt and pepper. If the mixture is thicker than you like, you may thin it with a little milk. If instead it is not thick enough, add just a little more oil. Serve.
If the mayonnaise separates: Simply start again with a new egg and a little mustard, then add the separated mayonnaise slowly, as you would do with the oil.
Mayonnaise can be kept for 7 days, covered, in the refrigerator.
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