I don’t really have a favourite food.
I mean, I can eat Olympic amounts of Scampi Fries. I dare you to try to get between me and some decent chips. Or Dim Sum. Or ramen in broth. Or a fresh doughnut.
But, to be honest, most of those things fit into a certain mood, or level of hunger, or time of year, or calibre of company.
Except for maybe the Scampi Fries.
I do, however, have a few favourite meals.
And one of my absolute favourite meals on God’s good earth is really quite simple.
A roast chicken, with plenty of crispy skin. A loaf of fresh white crusty bread. A green salad, preferably containing rocket. And, to put the icing on the cake, some homemade mayonnaise.
I really, really love homemade mayonnaise. There are 5 reasons for this:
1. It is one of those things that is a piece of piss to make, yet makes me look like some kind of domestic goddess.
2. It makes me feel like I’ve made an effort with my dinner, even if I am using it to spruce up a bag of salad leaves and those chicken skewers that always seem like such a good idea when you are actually in the butcher’s, yet are ultimately always a wee bit dry and disappointing.
3. It tastes really, really good. Like so good I am struggling to use up an old jar of shop-bought stuff that is languishing in our fridge.
4. The magic of it all emulsifying in front of my eyes. It makes me wish I had listened in Chemistry and worked in some kind of food lab where I could find out just how the vigorous whisking (fnar fnar) of an egg yolk, some vinegar and some oil can produce such tasty results.
5. My bingo wings get a workout.
I hope at least one of these gives you a reason to try making your own mayonnaise sometime soon.
Get an egg yolk.
And mix it well with a teaspoon of salt…
…and a tablespoon of vinegar…
…so it looks a little like this.
Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a measuring jug…
Then top up to 150ml with a flavourless oil.
Groundnut is my absolute favourite, but bog-standard rapeseed, vegetable or sunflower oil are all fine, too.
Add a tiny drop of the oil to the egg, whisking well until it is fully incorporated.
Keep adding in tiny drops until you have used 50ml of the oil.
And then you can add the rest in bigger quantities. I just sort of pour in a steady trickle from here on in, whisking all the way.
If you are whisking by hand (and if you saw my bingo wings, you would probably realise why I always choose to do so), placing the bowl on a damp tea-towel or rubber mat makes it easier.
Keep whisking until all the oil is added.
And voila, one of my favourite foods is born.
Mr. P probably wishes I was this easily pleased all the time, to be honest.
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
120ml groundnut, vegetable or sunflower oil
1. Separate the egg, putting the yolk in a large bowl.
2. Add the salt and vinegar, whisking well.
3. Mix together the oils.
4. Add the oil to the egg mix, mixing all the while. For the first 50ml of oil, add in tiny drops, mixing fully after each drop is added. For the rest of the oil, add in a gradual stream, whisking all the while.