I finally made mayonnaise from scratch. And let me tell you, it was an Aha! moment. If I had the time and didn’t mind uneven biceps (or could learn to master a whisk with my left hand), I’d chunk the store-bought versions for good. Until that day, I’ll reserve this delightful little condiment for special occasions (like this weekend) and humble ingredients (like potatoes) that don’t mind working in the shadows. If you’re firing up the grill to celebrate Labor Day with family and friends or tailgating in support of your favorite college football team, include this potato salad in the mix. You won’t be disappointed. This super-simple version wows with its subtle, fresh flavor and light texture–a level of excitement that can only be reached by way of a homemade mayo personalized with a NOLA necessity, Creole mustard.
If you’ve read through homemade mayonnaise recipes before, I’m sure you’ve noticed that many of them leave the whisking to electric mixers, blenders or food processors. That’s too bad, because I find that the joy of making scratch mayo is in the hand whisking. There’s nothing more gratifying than watching your own elbow grease transform tasteless pantry and fridge staples into a magnificent sauce or dressing or whatever you want to call it. I strongly encourage you to follow my lead on the hand whisking, at least the first time around. If after your initial success you don’t find the process exciting enough to warrant a few extra minutes and a slightly sore arm, then feel free to turn your kitchen prowess over to a small appliance. Just be careful. The extra heat and beating generated by those machines could bust your emulsion.
I hope you all have a wonderful Labor Day weekend and Geaux Tigers!
Simple Potato Salad with Homemade Mayonnaise
4 large russet potatoes
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon water, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon Creole mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Black pepper to taste
Scrub potatoes under cold water to remove any dirt. Place whole, unpeeled potatoes in a large saucepan; cover with cold water. Generously season water with salt. Bring potatoes to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook, partially covered, until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and cool slightly. Meanwhile, combine the yolk, vinegar, water and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Whisk until blended. Add oil drop by drop (don’t rush this stage), while whisking vigorously, until the mixture begins to cream. Add remaining oil in a slow, steady stream, while continuing to whisk vigorously, until mixture is thick and pale yellow. Stir in Creole mustard and chives. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel the skins by gently rubbing them with your fingers; discard skins. Dice potatoes and add to mayonnaise mixture. Toss until evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper. Makes 4-6 servings.