condiment, Gluten-free, Recipes

Stick Blender Healthy Mayonnaise

How many of you have given up mayonnaise because of health reasons? How many of you have tried making mayonnaise with a more nutritious oil, only to end up with a gloopy mess in your blender or bowl that didn’t amalgamate? There is a better way.

Do you have a stick blender (a.k.a. immersion blender)? An egg? Some good oil? Some fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar? If so, you have the makings of the easiest,  healthiest, and best mayonnaise you’ll ever taste.

Recently, I read an article about twenty-one foods that were supposed to not only prevent arterial plaque build-up but to actually clear out plaque deposits. One of those foods was avocado. Now it happens that I had just found quite a bargain on avocado oil, normally rather expensive, at our local Grocery Outlet. And it also happens that I was out of mayonnaise and couldn’t find a brand I wished to buy. I’ve gotten rather picky about my mayo in the last few years, and I don’t buy bargain brands of mayonnaise any more. They just don’t taste right.

So, avocado oil, no mayo, and an ah-ha moment. I’d read about stick blender mayo about a year ago, had meant to try it, and had just never gotten around to it. Besides, there’s not much point in making mayonnaise when you have a great big jar of Best Foods from Costco sitting in your fridge. But now, convergence.

There are so many different stick blender mayo recipes on the internet, it was hard to choose one. Then a particular recipe was recommended to me, so that’s where I started. Here is the link to the recipe I began with, although I altered it a bit, and ended up with the most delicious mayo I’ve ever tasted. Dennis didn’t really want to taste it because he’s not that fond of mayonnaise and usually only puts spicy brown mustard on his sandwiches, but when I insisted, he said, “Mmmm. Wow, that’s good. Way better than store bought. I’m going to start putting that on my sandwiches from now on.”

I rest my case.

Stick Blender Mayonnaise

1 large egg*

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (I used my homemade apple scrap vinegar)

1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon plain active culture yogurt** (I used my homemade yogurt)

1 cup light tasting oil *** (I used avocado oil.)

Now, this is where the fun begins. You need a container to hold your ingredients that will also hold your stick blender. I used a jar I’d saved, because I could mix the mayo right in the vessel I intended to store it in. You can use a plastic container, or a deep bowl, and transfer your mayo after it’s made to any storage container you like.

Put all the ingredients in the order listed into the vessel of your choice. Let the egg settle to the bottom of the vessel, then put your stick blender all the way to the bottom of the vessel and turn it on. You’ll see mayonnaise forming almost right away. Move the blender around and up and down a little to mix in all the oil. The entire process only takes about 30 seconds.

When all the oil has been mixed and your mayo is creamy white and thick, you’re done.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Turn off the blender, remove it from the vessel, and scrape off all that lovely lusciousness. Your mayonnaise should last for several weeks in the fridge. Because it contains no preservatives, it will not last indefinitely like store bought mayonnaise. But that’s okay—it’s so easy to make, whenever you run out, a fresh batch is only 30 seconds away!

Notes: *Using raw eggs scares some people. There’s a process for pasteurizing eggs at home if you’re one of those folks. I just use the freshest eggs I can buy whenever I have a raw application, and I don’t worry about it. In this case, I think the combination of oil and acids in the vinegar (lemon or lime juice can also be used) and mustard, as well as the salt, makes for a pretty safe combination. And the addition of the **active culture yogurt is also said, according to some, to keep the mayonnaise fresh longer.  I found a recipe for coconut oil mayonnaise, not made with a stick blender, but which I would very much like to try with a stick blender, that uses Greek yogurt and whey. Whey is simply what drains from the yogurt and contains the lactobacilli which make milk into yogurt, so adding active culture yogurt has the same effect.  ***For oil, you can use any light-tasting oil: extra-light olive oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, walnut oil. Strongly flavored oils, like extra virgin olive oil, may cause your mayo to be too strongly flavored.  I stay away from canola oil because it is one of the commercial crops sprayed with glyphosate herbicides.

I now have about 1 ½ cups of avocado oil mayonnaise so good I can’t decide exactly what I’m going to do with it. Sandwiches, of course, maybe some tuna salad or egg salad. Homemade buttermilk salad dressing? Potato salad? How about a little mayo mixed with some lemon juice and lemon zest as a sauce for steamed broccoli or asparagus, or perhaps a dip for artichokes? I am going to have some fun!

Standard
Canning, Main dishes, Recipes

Spicy Braised Chicken Thighs with Coconut Milk and Tomato Apple Chutney

Sometimes, I just like to play in the kitchen.  This dish is a result of some play after long abstinence following shoulder surgery.  It turned out so well, I just had to share it.

Spicy Braised Chicken Thighs with Coconut Milk and Tomato Apple Chutney

1 can light coconut milk

6-8 chicken thighs

1 tablespoon refined coconut oil*

Spice Mixture

Blend together the following:

1/8 teaspoon ground coriander

1/8 teaspoon hot smoked paprika

1/8 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon curry powder**

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon onion powder

1/8 teaspoon celery salt

1/8 teaspoon African pepper*** (cayenne is fine)

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Heat 1 tablespoon of refined (so it won’t burn) coconut oil in a Dutch oven. Rinse chicken thighs and pat dry. Sprinkle and rub the spice mixture liberally over both sides of the chicken (you may have some left over). Place chicken skin side down in Dutch oven and brown skin until very crisp, but don’t burn the spices. Turn thighs and brown other side. Quite a bit of fat will render from the skin.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Remove chicken from pan, pour off fat. (Lower fat version: remove skin from chicken thighs before browning in coconut oil. There should be no need then to pour off fat from pan, since the coconut oil is healthy.) Pour 1 can of light coconut milk into Dutch oven, heat to boiling, stirring up the spices from the bottom of the pan. Place chicken back into pan, cover with lid, and braise in 375 degree oven for 75-90 minutes, or until chicken is tender enough to pull away from the bone with a fork.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Remove chicken from pan. Stir 1-2 tablespoons of flour (I use brown rice flour) into pan juices. Whisk over medium heat until boiling. Boil and stir one minute to thicken sauce. Serve sauce over chicken thighs.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As you can see from the pictures, I only had 3 chicken thighs, and there was enough sauce for several more thighs.  I wish I’d had more!  I served this with red quinoa instead of the traditional rice, with a good dollop of the tomato-apple chutney I made last fall on the side.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We also had kale with Canadian bacon and onion, one of Dennis’s favorite vegetable dishes.  Dennis was over the moon! He’s been getting pretty tired of his own cooking since my shoulder surgery in early December.

Notes: *Use refined coconut oil to brown the chicken because you’ll use a relatively high heat, and unrefined coconut oil burns too easily.  You can of course use vegetable oil, canola oil, olive oil, or any other fat you like.  I just like the health benefits of cooking with coconut oil whenever I can.  **If you have a good curry powder or paste, you probably don’t need all the extra ingredients I added to the spice mix, but boy, it sure was good! I just used an inexpensive, all-purpose curry powder from the supermarket. ***My African pepper was given to me by my Nigerian co-mother-in-law, Theresa. She buys the hot red peppers in the market in Kaduna, cooks them, dries them in the sun, and then grinds them to powder. It is hot, but with great flavor. I love it, and I use it in everything. Cayenne is an acceptable alternative. It adds just a little heat, and of course, you can add more of any flavor you particularly like.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

Standard