Sunday, May 20, 2012

Kefir Mayonnaise

This was originally written in March, but not published until today (in May). 

Yesterday, my oldest daughter made us some lovely salmon salad on Kamut tortillas. I love her creativity in the kitchen. I love how she always wants to balance our protein and carbohydrates (and also feeds us dessert). Well, she used the last of the mayonnaise.

We have been buying Spectrum brand mayonnaise for a long time. I'm not much of a fan of mayonnaise, but I use it in recipes (never on sandwiches). I got a wonderful recipe for homemade Ranch Dressing, which includes mayo. I've been using kefir as much as possible in our recipes and thought I'd try my hand at this too! I must tell you that the recipe calls for much less oil than is necessary to make an emulsion. It's very easy to just give up, or to think it has been a long time already, but this wonderful moment happens when you have added- very slowly- enough oil to your liquid, and it has the consistency of mayonnaise.

Kefir Mayonnaise (via Kefir Magic)

  • 1/2 cup kefir (I only use 1/4 cup because it's too much liquid for the amount of oil)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2  cup organic extra virgin olive oil (I have used up to 1 3/4 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • A pinch of salt and ground black pepper to taste

Place the two egg yolks into a mixing bowl.  Add the mustard, salt and pepper and vigorously beat the ingredients into a smooth paste. Add the lemon juice and continue mixing until texture is smooth again.  Slowly add the olive oil in a thin, steady stream until the mayonnaise becomes thick and smooth.  Add the kefir very slowly, tablespoon by tablespoon, alternating with the oil, ensuring that each addition is absorbed before adding more. Refrigerate and serve chilled.
Despite my lack of love for mayonnaise in general, this makes a pretty good mayo! It is excellent for making dressings and dips, salads and putting on sandwiches. Everyone seems to like it (as much as we like mayo). You could use another less flavorful oil if you aren't partial to the taste of olive oil. It keeps well in the refrigerator at least two weeks (it's usually gone by then). You could try it longer. Sally Falon in Nourishing Traditions (which is on sale for $20.25 at Black Bear Books Online) suggests using whey in homemade mayonnaise which would give it a longer shelf life (which we have also done, but it's usually eaten up quickly). Either way, as long as you refrigerate it, it should stay good for a long time.