Tag Archives: mayonnaise

Roasted Asparagus and Sweet Red Pepper Dipping Sauce

23 Apr
Simple and beautiful spring fare

I have been experimenting with my new fancy Breville toaster oven and it’s been a life-changer! I don’t always want to turn the regular oven on for a small dish, so this new tabletop oven has widened my options.

One example is asparagus, coming soon into season and one of my favorite things to eat. It roasts very nicely and quickly with no fuss. I just eat the spears with my fingers right off the plate.
I decided to jazz it up (and in the process use up some sweet roasted red pepper that I had taking up space in the fridge). This took a jiffy and was a bright relish-y sort of taste (note that I used SWEET roasted red pepper). I later whipped some up as a dressing for black bean burgers (recipe to come in the next couple of days).

Zesty Dipping Sauce for Roasted Asparagus

3 Tbs mayonnaise

1-2 Tbs plain nonfat yogurt

2 Tbs roasted sweet red pepper, diced fine

Mix all ingredients together. Serve as a dipping sauce or as relish for black bean burgers or other sandwich fillings.


Roasted Asparagus

1 lb asparagus (the fat kind preferred), washed and bottoms snapped off (reserve to make broth for another recipe)

1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt or coarse kosher salt for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350°. Rub olive oil over asparagus spears and place on rimmed baking sheet, foil or, ideally, broiler-type rack. Cook for 15 minutes, sprinkle with salt and serve with dipping sauce.


Tapas 1: make your own mayo

17 Dec

This is the first in a bunch of posts about an evening of tapas, the Spanish snacks. On a recent evening I made tapas for some dear friends out in Greenport (an annual event) and you need to know how to do it too. It is an elegant yet friendly way to spend a long time at the table, eating and drinking in a leisurely fashion. The recipes are easy, but some can be time-consuming (I said hot, cheap and easy, but I didn’t say fast!) especially when you want to make several dishes. So choose things you can make ahead and serve cold or at room temp.

First off, make your own mayonnaise! It is lighter, creamier and fresher than what you buy in the store, doesn’t contain preservatives or other weird ingredients (it’ll keep for about a week in the fridge) and you can flavor it with garlic or herbs.

Homemade Mayo (with garlic mayo option)

2 yolks from fresh eggs

(2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped, optional)

2 tsp lemon juice (or vinegar, if you must)

(1/4 tsp mustard powder, optional) 

pinch salt, grating of pepper

1 1/2 Cups light or extra-light olive oil (you can use different oils to achieve different flavors, but for basic mayo, light olive oils work best. I find regular olive oil too overpowering)

2 Tbsp warm water

Put the egg yolks, (garlic), lemon juice, (mustard), salt and pepper in a food processor or blender and buzz for a bit. Then leave the motor running and pour the oil in through the top in a very thin stream (I like having help for this part) and the mixture will get nice and thick. Add the warm water at the end.

Some people actually beat their own mayo; if you are so inclined, then do NOT use an aluminum bowl – it will turn the emulsion gray.

I like this slathered on tortillas (recipe to come), boiled potatoes, seasoned shrimp, in sandwiches…every which way you might use mayo or tartar sauce.

Cool science: Mayonnaise is an “emulsion” or a blend of two unlike things, in this case, oil and lemon juice (liquid). The egg yolks contain lecithin and that is the element that holds this fragile union together. Without it, you would have separation, just like in salad dressing. The reasoning behind fresh eggs is not just about food poisoning; the fresher the eggs, the more potent the lecithin and therefore the better your mayo.

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