While reading Julia Child’s book Mastering The Art of French Cooking a few years ago, I began to understand the importance of sauces and vinaigrettes and how valuable they are to master, especially in French cuisine. Julia writes that, “sauces are the splendor and glory of French cooking…”(Child, Bertholle, & Beck, 1961, p. 54).This realization became even more meaningful while listening to The Splendid Table, a podcast hosted by Lynne Rosetto Kasper. In the episode titled Isaac Mizrahi: The Key 3, she interviewed American fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi as he demonstrated how to make a tomato sauce, a vinaigrette, and a chocolate sauce for a soufflé.
Figuring out the ratios that best suit your taste is a process of experimentation. The general rule when it comes to vinaigrettes is usually 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. Add your spices. Shake. Then enjoy. For me, this ratio is too heavy on the oil, so I usually like to do equal parts oil to equal parts vinegar/citrus. Once you decide the best ratio, you can create any vinaigrette.
It is important to understand the foundation of sauces and dressings before you add other seasonings. This foundation is hard to perfect, but the most important part of the dressing. Homemade mayonnaise is one of those foundations, and serves as the base for many of my dressings.
The recipe today is going to walk you through how to make homemade mayonnaise. Be aware of the speed in which you pour the olive oil into the egg, because it needs to be snail-speed slow! Once you get this recipe down, browse through our other dressings and sauces.
- 1 egg yolk
- 1-2 cups olive oil (not extra virgin)
- 1 tsp ground mustard
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp smoked paprika (optional)
- In a container place egg yolk, ¼ C. olive oil, mustard, salt and paprika.
- Whisk together.
- With your hand blender on, begin adding the remaining olive oil-slowly-when I say slow I mean almost a drop at a time.
- Keep the blending going while you are pouring.
- Lasts a wee in the refrigerator.