My Belgian roots seem to trump any American traits I have adopted over the years when it comes to French fries. For instance, I will not settle anymore for plain old non-flavored coffee, but I still like the creaminess of mayo with my steaming hot & crunchy fries. It’s considered an oddity here in ketchup-loving California, but I bet the epicenter of mayo-based casseroles balmy Southern states share my dipping joy.
So when I was introduced to a California institution named ‘In & Out Burger’ by my American family, and was told with much excitement that this red & gold vinyl circus was the Mecca of all hamburger joints, I was highly disappointed there was not a drop of mayonnaise to be had. At the time, I already had a wee bit of a chip on my shoulder as fast food is not exactly my idea of culinary sophistication, so I may or may not have had a an air of superiority about the whole thing. I plead the fifth. Not being able to drown my fast food sorrow with a vat of mayonnaise, probably put me over the edge. “Try the animal sauce…” , Scott proclaimed, “…you’ll like it”. I’m sure I must have looked at him with an air of complete disbelief, but I aim to please and reluctantly bit the corner of a little plastic pouch of animal sauce, and – with some trepidation – squirted some on a ‘test fry’… I swear, I heard the faint sound of violins and saw rosy-cheeked cherubs blowing kisses in my general direction. Honest to God!
I figured animal sauce can’t be that hard to recreate as my taste buds instantly recognized its delicious mayonnaise base. It was just a matter of adding a few things to it.
I listed a recipe for basic mayonnaise here, as well as my own recipe for In & Out’s animal style hamburger sauce.
- 2 eggs, yolks only
- 1tsp of white vinegar
- 2 tsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp of dijon mustard (not the grainy kind)
- 1/2 cup of safflower oil (or cannola oil)
- 1/2 cup of olive oil (or safflower/cannola or any other oil you like)
- salt & pepper to taste
Since mayo is an emulsion, it’s an important to use room temperature ingredients. If you keep your egg in the fridge, take them out about 30-45 minutes prior to making this mayo and let them warm a bit. When at room temperature, separate the yolks and discard the whites. In regards to the oils, olive oil has amore pronounced flavor then safflower or cannola oil, so use light olive oil or any other light oil if you don;t care for the flavor of olive oil.
In a stainless steel bowl, whisk yolks, mustard and vinegar together until smooth. Add salt & white pepper to taste (using blackpepper will leave little flecks of black in your creamy mayo).
Now here comes the tricky part… You will need both hands, so make sure the bowl on your countertop is secured. You can do so by placing it on top of a non-skid mat, or by using a cold damp towel that will hold your bowl in place whil you whisk.
Adding the oil to your egg-mustard mixture is where things can go wrong. Gently and in a steady motion trickle oil into the egg & mustard mixture one drop at a time, whilst whisking constantly. When the emulsion is beginning to thicken, you can go from droplets to a thin stream and so forth. You will need pretty much all of the oil, but when you see it is getting harder to incorporate the oil, it means you are reaching the limit. If this is the case, stop adding oil as otherwise you risk your mayonnaise separating again. If your mixture is not thickening, you are liking whisking too vigorously so slow down a bit. The pace of whisking should be steady, but neither too fast nor too slow… it’s a learnt art!
When you have achieved a beautifully creamy sauce, add the lemon juice and some more salt & pepper to your taste. Enjoy your homemade mayo!
(*) You can also add herbs to flavor your mayo, such as finely chopped fresh tarragon for a French twist, minced garlic for a traditional aioli or a few drops of sriracha sauce for a spicy fiery mayo. The possibilities are endless.
(adapted from In & Out Burger)
- 1/2 cup of mayo
- 3 tsp of ketchup (for the recipe, look here)
- 6 tsp of pickle relish
- 1.5 tsp of distilled white vinegar
- 1.5 tsp of white sugar
Whisk all ingredients together and enjoy on a hamburger bun with your favorite hamburger, cheese, lettuce, tomato & onions! Yum!