Mayo is a blank canvas on which you can paint a huge range flavors
Talk about convenience. Mayonnaise is a condiment in practically every American fridge because it so conveniently moistens and flavors so many dishes. Mayo is simply an emulsion of oil and egg with a splash of lemon juice.
But one reason so many people prefer Miracle Whip (have you ever noticed that the world can be divided into two camps, mayo and Miracle Whip?), is because mayo can be a bit bland. In fact, when we make dishes with mayo, like potato salad, we usually add herbs and spices.
Mayo is also a great coating when grilling a variety of foods. It is about 70% oil with egg yolk which is about 2/3 fat and some protein), and acid, like white wine or lemon juice. So putting mayo on a fish doesn’t flavor it much, but it does cling to the fish better than coating it with oil. That helps prevent it from sticking to the grill better than oil, and because of the protein, it helps prevent the meat from drying out, and it browns and crisps up nicely. Then you want to amp it up.
There are infinite ways to make your own signature mayo and never have to break an egg. Here are a few blends to try. As background for this recipe, read these articles, The Science of Herbs & Spices, The Science of Chiles, the Science of Garlic, and The Science of Salt.
Use a Mayo With Mojo for grilling to coat fish, chicken breasts, pork loins, lobster, shrimp, zucchini planks, potato slices, and garlic bread. Speaking of bread, use it on your next grilled cheese sandwich.
I’ve used this blend mostly in potato salad, deviled eggs, egg salad, and as a sandwich spread. It can also be slathered on fish, chicken, corn on the cob, or potatoes before you grill! It locks in moisture and crisps nicely. Click here for my recipe for Potatoes With Mojo.
And then riff on the concept. Mix in a few drops of sesame oil (really a few drops is all), or chipotle in adobo. Experiment!
- 2 tablespoons dried onion flakes (dried minced onion)
- 1 tablespoon sweet red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon mustard powder
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons chopped celery leaves
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ⅓ cup distilled vinegar
- Mix. Mix all the spices in a small bowl. Now mix the spice mix with the mayonnaise and the vinegar.
- Age. Cover and let it sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours. This is crucial. The flavors in the mix are oil soluble and mayo is 70 to 80% oil. In those 2 hours the flavors will work their way into the mayo and the dried flakes and seeds will suck in the mayo and soften.
- Enjoy. You can now use the mayo as a sandwich spread, in potato salad, egg salad, tuna salad, whateverrrr. Try this: Spread it on skinless chicken breasts or mild white fish, and grill.