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FOOD : Dressing Up a Classic : Fresh Herbs and Vegetables Add New Flavor to Homemade Mayonnaise

May 10, 1987|BETSY BALSLEY | Betsy Balsley is The Times' food editor.

Homemade mayonnaise and a food processor were made for each other. It's now so easy to blend a batch of this versatile condiment that you'll wonder why you haven't done it before.

Fresh mayonnaise is sure to spoil you, particularly when there are so many ways to flavor it. Fresh herbs, spices such as curry powder or Chinese 5-spice, onions, garlic, cucumbers, fresh ginger root and numerous other seasonings can be added to mayonnaise.

You can make a Green Mayonnaise, for instance, by adding fresh sorrel leaves and fresh dill to the basic mixture. Use it on poached salmon or other fish. Or toss cubes of cold chilled turkey or chicken with mayonnaise flavored with fresh tarragon leaves and use the mixture to fill avocados or tomatoes.

When preparing mayonnaise in small quantities (1 cup) it is better to use a small processor or a blender. Homemade mayonnaise usually will keep for about a week when properly refrigerated.

BASIC MAYONNAISE 2 eggs or 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk 2 tablespoons lemon juice 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 3 drops hot-pepper sauce, optional 1 1/2 cups oil Salt, optional Combine eggs, lemon juice, mustard and hot-pepper sauce in blender container or food processor bowl fitted with knife blade or plastic blade. Process 5 to 10 seconds. Turn processor on and add oil in very slow stream through feed tube. Process until smooth, scraping sides occasionally for even blending. Season to taste with salt. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

CHOLESTEROL-WATCHERS MAYONNAISE 2 egg whites 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 1/2 to cup light oil (safflower or cottonseed) Place egg whites, lemon juice and mustard in small food processor bowl or in blender container. Process at high speed until well blended. With processor running, add oil in very slow steady stream through hole in top of processor lid or through tube. Blend in just enough oil to reach desired consistency. Scrape down sides and continue processing 10 to 20 seconds longer until mixture is completely blended. Mayonnaise will be slightly soft but will firm up somewhat upon chilling. Makes about 1 cup.

VARIATIONS

The following suggestions give amounts of ingredients intended to flavor 1 1/2 cups homemade mayonnaise. When preparing smaller amounts, reduce quantities called for to suit your taste.

Herbed Mayonnaise

Add 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves to egg mixture and process briefly before oil is added. Process until tarragon is finely minced. Serve with cold chicken, turkey or other meats.

Green Mayonnaise

Add 1/2 cup chopped fresh sorrel leaves, 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill and 1/2 teaspoon sugar to egg mixture before processing. Process until leaves are minced before adding oil. Serve with hot or cold poached salmon or other seafood.

Garlic Mayonnaise

Mince 2 small cloves peeled garlic in processor before adding egg mixture. Process briefly again before adding oil. Use in vegetable, cold-meat or seafood salads.

Pink Mayonnaise

Puree 2 to 3 drained canned beets in processor. Add 3/4 teaspoon sugar and dash garlic salt and blend. Add egg mixture and process briefly before adding oil. Use in vegetable, egg, potato and chicken salads.

Cucumber Mayonnaise

Peel and chop 1/2 medium cucumber. Sprinkle lightly with salt and let stand 10 minutes. Rinse and drain well. Pat as dry as possible with paper towels. Puree or finely chop cucumber in processor bowl before adding egg mixture. Process briefly again before adding oil. Use in crab or shrimp salads.

Curried Mayonnaise

Add 2 to 3 teaspoons curry powder, 1 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder and 1/2 teaspoon sugar to egg mixture. Process briefly before adding oil. Use in vegetable, rice, chicken or meat salads.

PRODUCED BY ROBIN TUCKER

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