Ten Ways With Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise4As condiments go, it’s hard to go past a good mayonnaise when you need something quick and easy. Here’s a basic recipe for mayo (and instructional video!) along with a few ideas for making a compound mayo . That’s chef talk for “you’ve put stuff in it”  😀

Tangy Mayonnaise – 500ml oil (half canola and half light olive oil), 3 yolks, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/2 a lemon – juiced, 1 teaspoon white sugar, sea salt.

Watch this for a very home-made video demonstration.

Garlic Aioli – 500ml basic mayo, 8-10 garlic cloves – smashed, 100ml light olive oil, sea salt

Place your garlic cloves in a small saucepan, big enough that they just cover the bottom evenly. Cover with olive oil and simmer very gently for 25 mins. Avoid getting too much colour on the garlic. A light golden colour is plenty. Make sure the cloves are soft. Chill. Puree all together and fold through your mayo. Best scoffed with hot chips or crispy roast potatoes.Mayonnaise1Tuna and Caper Mayo – awesome for dressing a pasta salad with a little chopped avocado and tomato or for spreading over some toasted baguette or rice crackers

250ml basic mayo, 1 tin tuna in spring water, 1 tablespoon capers – rinsed and chopped, 1/2 a lemon – juiced, chopped parsley. Drain the tuna well and separate with a fork. Mix everything together and add a little salt and pepper if necessary.

Tartare Sauce– the classic fish and chip accompaniment. There is little more disappointing in life than ordering great F&C’s from your favourite chippy and being given factory made sauce.  Make your own, take your own 🙂

350ml basic mayo, 1 tablespoon washed capers, 2 tablespoons chopped cucumber pickle, 1 tablespoon chopped French shallot, juice from 1 lemon, 1/2 a bunch parsley, 1 tablespoon chopped dill. Salt and pepper. Blend all the ingredients except mayo until pasty. Fold through mayo, chill.Mayonnaise5Green Chilli Mayo – this one has featured on loads of menus in my kitchens. Think fried seafood, tempura vegetables, pan-fried tofu, chicken schnitzel. Or as a wicked slaw dressing.

250ml basic mayo,125g sour cream, 3 large green or jalepeno chillies, 2 limes, 1/2 a bunch coriander – washed and chopped, 2 spring onions – chopped. De-seed the chillies and slice. Place in a blender with the coriander, onions,  lime juice and a pinch of salt and blitz. Fold through the mayo and sour cream until well combined.

Vanilla and lime – Great with poached chicken and a little salad and with bbq baby octopus too. Or think bbq corn on the cob or a dollop in a seafood chowder.

250ml basic mayo, 1 vanilla bean – scraped, 2 small limes -zest and juice. Mix. Chill.Mayonnaise6Roast Lemon and Saffron Mayo –  Roasted lemons take on a whole new flavour and feel. Extra sweetness and conversely, extra sour due to the cooking of the rind and pith. The saffron takes this to a whole new level again with that unique earthiness. Serve with a whole baked fish or roast chicken.

500ml basic mayo. 2 large lemons, a pinch of sugar, 1/4 gram saffron. Cut the lemons across, rub with sugar and place face down on a baking tray. Drizzle with a little oil. Roast for 15 mins on 160*c. Cool and squeeze over the saffron. Add a little salt and let stand for 20 minutes. Mix with mayo.

Caramelised Onion Aioli – Savoury and sweet all in one go. Try with lamb or other grilled red meat. Serve on a dips platter with chopped vegetables or grilled bread. Or both.

250ml Garlic Aioli, 2 large Spanish onions – sliced, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 100ml balsamic vinegar, sea salt. Simmer the onions, balsamic and sugar gently for about 90 mins or until it starts to go a little tacky. Chill. Fold through mayo. Chill.Mayonnaise8Ricotta and Lemon Aioli – Great for sandwiches, grissini, crostata and vegetable sticks.

250ml basic mayo,  250g ricotta, 2 lemons finely zested, cracked pepper, sea salt.Blitz the ricotta until smooth. Fold everything together. Chill.

Chipotle Aioli -For the spicy food fanatic. Great on anything. Chipotle comes in a tin from delis and specialty shops and some supermarkets. Don’t confuse it with chipotle bbq sauce. It is not the same thing. At all. Use as a dip for corn chips or raw vegetables. Add to some pulled pork tacos. Now ya talkin’!

500ml garlic aioli, 1 small tin chipotle in adobe sauce – pureed. Combine well.Mayonnaise7Classic Cocktail, Thousand Island, Marie Rose. Whatever, that fat juicy prawn your dunking in it doesn’t care what its called.

350ml basic mayo, 150g sour cream, 2 tablespoons Worcester, 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup, juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon horseradish relish, sea salt. Mix it all well and refrigerate.

All of these ideas will work well with your favourite shop brand of mayo. Look for whole egg mayo where you can. But have a go at making your own sometime too. Go on!

Or try any of these additions – chopped boiled egg, tarragon and lemon, any style of mustard, spring onions, dill, grated celeriac, pureed corn, wasabi, pickled ginger, chopped kimchi, miso paste, peanut butter, mustard fruits, quince paste, pesto…..Or maybe you’ve got some ideas of your own?

*If you’re surprised or concerned at the amount of oil in mayonnaise, you should be more concerned by what goes into ‘low fat’ mayo.

What Kids Can DoMayonnaise2

Kids can get involved here by measuring ingredients, cracking and separating eggs, picking herbs, rinsing capers, pouring in the oil etc…Mayonnaise3

Let them have a go. The most important thing in training is to explain the process, demonstrate the process and then guide them through the first attempt. So perhaps you’ll make it ‘together’ this time and next time stand back a little. This all comes down to the capabilities of your own kids.

If it doesn’t go to plan, start again. You may lose a little oil and vinegar, but build a whole lot of confidence and trust with the kids.

Mayo vs Aioli. Aioli is a traditional French sauce being mayo w/ crushed raw garlic added to the process and served with boiled vegetables. Raw garlic can be a little   offensive to our humble antipodean palates so the confit garlic in the first recipe is a nice compromise. Some would argue that Aioli doesn’t use egg but is bound by garlic or even boiled potato. As far as the common vernacular is concerned however – mayo is aioli is mayo is aioli, if you know what I’m saying. Mayoli!?

Happy Cooking!


Sunshine, on my Shoulder (makes me happy!)

I apologise  for the John Denver intro, but I was feeling it at the time.

“Sunshine, in my eyes, can make me cry……..”

Stop it.

Our mission today is to prepare dinner for my brother and his GF , giving us all of about 40 mins after school, before Ju jitsu etc..
So, we’re going to start this morning instead, before school.

I have good memories of us being kids and Mum’s lamb roast being big bro’s favourite meal. Not surprisingly, mum knows how to do a roast. That thing would sit in the oven all day taunting everybody with that delightful, roasty aroma wafting through the house.


12hr Lamb Shoulder Roast


Bone in lamb shoulder – approximately 2kg will do four people
1 tablespoon thyme – plucked
Olive oil
A lemon – zested, keep the juice for later
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Cracked black pepper


Pre – heat your oven to 180*. Trim the lamb with a sharp pointy knife. Score the fat, rub the seasonings into the skin and transfer the lamb to the oven for 30 mins. Lambshoulder4Turn the oven down to 90*c and cook for a further 11.5 hrs. Drop kids at school, go to work etc and forget about it.
When your ready, carve and serve with these suggested accompaniments. Or your favourite salad. Or three veg 🙂 Your lamb should be super tender and still a little pink. Slow – roasting a joint like this helps break down connective tissue without losing moisture.

“Sunshine, on  the water, looks so lovely…”

Brown Rice and French Lentil ‘Pilaf’

Lambshoulder51 cup brown rice, cooked.
1 cup French lentils, cooked – other lentils will go smooshy.
1 red onion
5 cloves garlic
1 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon ea cumin and fennel seeds – toasted and ground
3 bay leaves
1 cinnamon quill
1/2 cup roasted almonds – chopped
200g medjool dates – pitted and halved
Chopped parsley and pomegranate seeds to finish. Save the juice and remaining seeds.


In the morning I also cooked the rice and the lentils ready for this evening. Saute the onions in a little oil. Add garlic and spices and keep cooking, it’s important to do this thoroughly, make sure the onions are super soft and fragrant. Add the remaing ingredients, stir and transfer to the oven for about 20 mins on 160*C. Your lamb can come out and rest during this time. Remove from the oven and scatter pomegranate and parsley over the top.Lambshoulder8

What Kid Did

Kid helped in the morning. We needed bay leaves from the garden, the parsley picked, dates pitted, beans and broccoli prepped, and the pomegranate smashed.
Better than watching telly!
Lambshoulder1 Then we made this.

Saffron Yoghurt


200gm natural yoghurt
juice of 1/2 a lemon – saved from the lamb rub.
A pinch of saffron – about 10 threads
A pinch of salt


Do this in the morning also for best results. Combine the juice, saffron and salt and let sit for about 15 mins. Add the yoghurt, combine and refrigerate. The saffron will continue leaching into the yoghurt. When your ready to serve, give it a good stir and you will have a beautiful sunshine yellow colour. Serve with roast lamb.
And this..

Pomegranate Punch

Mix your leftover pomegranate seeds and juice with ice in a glass. Top up with a little lemonade and sparkling mineral water. For an adult version, try using iced-green tea and gin to mix instead.
All of this had me wondering about the ‘Sunday Roast’ of today. Firstly I haven’t made roast on a Sunday in god knows and I think there could be a lot of folk out there who, like me, have ditched the three veg as accompaniment for more modern, lighter fare. ( I would still gladly smash a plate of mum’s roast veg and gravy though.) How do you like your ‘Sunday’ roast these days? Holding on to tradition or doing things a little differently?

“Sunshine, almost always, makes me high…..”

Happy roasting 🙂

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