People are already pushing the leftover turkey ideas, so this is a timely recipe for our American friends. For my fellow Canadians who are well past Thanksgiving, not only is this a foundational recipe everyone should have, but it's also a fun way to spend time with the kids, as the days get colder and we're stuck inside. And I'm not talking about baking another batch of cookies where you end up eating all the dough and the kids run around in a sugar craze. This is something to help refine those young palettes: real mayonnaise.
Make Your Own Mayonnaise
Making your own anything is pretty empowering, especially things like mayonnaise where it's pretty easy and you can avoid so many questionable ingredients, like GMO soybean oil or other hydrogenated, highly processed stuff. But my inspiration wasn't really health related, it was from reading Nigella Lawson's "How to Eat: The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food." I can't wait to read her new book but this one is a classic, no pictures, just that lovely prose that impels me to make mayonnaise for the pure joy of making it, if not for the vision of curling up in bed with her book afterwards and sneaking down to the kitchen late at night to eat a spoonful or two.
The Fun Way to Separate Eggs
But back to practicalities, Nigella has the absolute best tip for separating eggs. Instead of the usual cracking open and passing the yolk from shell to shell with the looming threat of a jagged piece of shell piercing the yolk and ruining everything, you just use your hand. It feels somewhat therapeutic to hold an egg in the palm of your hand and let the goopy white parts drip down your fingers until you're left only with that perfect rounded yolk. Of course when my four year old daughter saw this she had to give it a try. As you'll see in the shot below, her hand is the perfect size for this and it was such a fun task that not only is this now the only way we separate eggs, it's what we have to do whenever we crack an egg, whether we're separating it or not!
Expensive Toys or a Bowl and Whisk?
Forget about some fancy kid play kitchen. Give your kids a real whisk and a bowl with 2 yolks and a pinch of salt and tell them to go to town. It's play and usefulness brought together into one. Now slowly - very slowly - add the oil while they continue whisking and watching the magic of a TON of oil turning into only a few small spoons of mayonnaise. Yes, that's the other wonderful thing about making your own mayonnaise: you realize how much oil goes into it, which is why it's such a special treat to be enjoyed in small doses. You will likely need to take over the whisking for bit, and then hand off to your partner or whoever else is standing in the kitchen. Don't even think about using a KitchenAid or food processor. Once the mayonnaise looks like mayonnaise - think & firm - add a squeeze of lemon and then it's time to get creative.
Spice up Your Mayo
I'm not going to lie, fresh mayonnaise tastes fabulous on it's own, but if you want to jazz things up even more, try adding a little more lemon and a dash of cayenne pepper, or half a teaspoon of garam masala or curry powder, before adding in your leftover roast chicken or turkey and making a really tasty gourmet sandwich. But my all-time favourite is the lemon coriander combo below, with both ground coriander and fresh leaves and another good squirt of lemon. Coriander has an earthy, citrusy tastes, and fresh leaves are often used in heavier dishes to cut through the fat, leaving you with this really fresh citrusy taste, while full of healthy fats to keep you satiated. And since you've gone to all the trouble of making mayonnaise from scratch, let's go the full distance, roast some coriander seeds and grind them for the freshest ground coriander possible. Grinding whole spices in a mortar and pestle is of course, another task kids will jump at. I still find it pretty fun too. Full recipe below.
Recipe: Lemon Coriander Chicken (or Leftover Turkey!) Salad Sandwiches
2 egg yolks (at room temperature)
1 cup organic grapeseed oil (I like the mild taste of grapeseed oil, but you could also use avocado oil as a healthy option, or organic sunflower oil isn't a bad choice either)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon freshly ground coriander
1 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
leftover roast chicken or turkey (about 1 lb)
salt & pepper to taste
bread of choice
- whisk egg yolk with a pinch of salt and keep whisking while slowly adding in the grape seed oil, a few drops at a time, until you get a firm glob, and can add oil in larger glugs, continuing on to the extra virgin olive oil, until all the oils have been incorporated in the same whisking, slow-oil-pouring manner
- whisk in the lemon juice, then stir in the ground coriander and leaves, and your leftover meat
- season with salt and pepper to taste and serve on your favourite bread; I like a nice crusty baguette, which is also nice to slice and serve open face with an extra sprig of fresh coriander
And there you have a sophisticated little weekend lunch that kids will love.