THIS is what real, homemade mayonnaise is supposed to look like. From yesterday’s blog, I lamented the fact that the recipe from Charlie’s Café Exceptionale, and its legendary potato salad, was…flawed. Particularly the recipe and ratios for their mayonnaise ended you up with a watery, overly acidic mess that essentially ruined the potato salad, so I said I would re-tweak the mayo and see how it worked.
In my kitchen last night, I hit the magic ratio. If you use TWO tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, per Charlie’s (legendary) recipe, you get runny lemon vinaigrette. It’s simply unable to collect and embrace the remaining ingredients. However….if you use ONE tablespoon lemon juice only, you get this lovely, pillowy, dreamy-beyond-creamy heavenliness of mayonnaise that sparkles with lemony essence. Not too strong, just the right balance, and oh so rich tasting! It’s thicker than anything you’ll ever find in a jar at the supermarket. And just look at the height of the mayonnaise from the picture I took in my kitchen!
So, there. We’ve solved the mayonnaise dilemma. I’m trying to lure the Star Tribune’s Food Critic, Rick Nelson, away from his daily duties and read my discovery, and I’d love to have a chat over coffee and Danish with the aforementioned Madame Barbara Flanagan, who was the resurrectress of the original Charlie’s recipe as published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune from back in 1989.
For now, enjoy the view on what real mayonnaise looks like! Use the recipe from my earlier blog, and adjust down 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, putting it in right at the start and keeping the rest of the recipe unaltered, and you’re golden. Maybe add a pinch more salt – it worked for me. Next step is trying to figure out these so-called “stages of preparation” for the rest of Charlie’s potato salad recipe. But how? Ah the beat goes on….
Now, go eat something! -Jack
photo by me