Mayonnaise can be mastered with a little effort and a good dose of knowledge. There are two methods to making mayonnaise: either beating it by hand or making it in the blender or food processor. The hand-beaten method produces a smoother, glossier mayonnaise. Machine-made mayonnaise (made with a whole egg rather than with just an egg yolk) is quicker to make, has more volume, and will last longer because the ingredients are more finely bound together. I prefer to make it by machine because it is so quick.

MAKES 1 CUP

1 whole egg

ВЅ teaspoon ground (dry) mustard

ВЅ teaspoon salt

Dash cayenne pepper

1 cup oil (preferably ½ cup vegetable oil and ½ cup olive oil—olive oil adds flavor)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

  1. Have all of the utensils and ingredients warm or at room temperature to ensure that the mayonnaise does not separate. Put the egg, mustard, salt, and cayenne pepper into the blender and blend for 30 seconds. Or, if you are using a food processor, combine them in the bowl of the processor and set the metal blade in place. Process for 60 seconds.
  2. If using the blender remove the cover. While the machine (either the blender or the food processor) is still running add 1 teaspoon of the oil. Wait until it is incorporated, then add another teaspoon. Keep adding the oil at this slow pace until you have used ВЅ cup of the oil.
  3. Add the lemon juice and blend. Add the remaining ВЅ cup of oil, continuing with a slow pace. You will probably have to stop the blender or processor and scrape down the sides occasionally as the mayonnaise thickens. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 6 days.

NOTE: All is not lost if your mayonnaise separates. You can reconstitute it by adding one of the following to a clean bowl an egg yolk, a tablespoon of very cold water, or a tablespoon of vinegar and beating in a teaspoon of broken mayonnaise. Once it is blended add a little more mayonnaise, beat, then slowly beat in the remaining mayonnaise until it is well blended.