Homemade Mayonnaise

Homemade mayonnaise is rich, creamy, and tangy in a way stuff from the jar can’t duplicate. Whipping up your own mayo also is a use of leftover egg yolks from making meringues and other egg-white-based recipes (like our Chocolate Angel Food Cake); the fresher the eggs, the silkier, tastier and more golden your mayonnaise will be. I enjoy the satisfaction of whipping the egg yolks by hand, but you could use a blender, food processor or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (a good idea if you decide to double or triple this recipe). The amount of oil you’ll use depends on the size of the yolks and how thick you like your mayonnaise; for a stiff sauce, use more oil. This homemade mayonnaise is great spread on a sandwich, as well as in other recipes, like Bestest Buttermilk-Chive Dressing. I also love this homemade mayonnaise recipe as a dipper for roasted baby potatoes or sauteed shrimp. To make aioli, substitute extra-virgin olive oil for canola, and add a clove or two of garlic that’s been mashed to a paste.


Guatemalan Guacamole Avocado Salad

This take on guacamole comes from a Guatemalan recipe for avocado salad. There’s nothing quite like the buttery flesh of an avocado, made even better by the fact that it’s loaded with healthy fats. Do be aware, though, that those same fats make this a calorically dense dish . . . so just be conscious of your bites.

guacamole-avocado-salad-recipe2 large, ripe avocados
1 hard-boiled egg, peeled and coarsely mashed
1/4 cup jicama, peeled and cut into a 1/4-inch dice
1/4 cup lime juice, divided
2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh hot chiles
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Scrape the flesh from the avocados into a bowl and roughly mash them with the egg. Mix in the jicama, 2 tablespoons lime juice, onion, oregano, chile and salt and pepper to taste. Mix enough to blend the ingredients, not so much so that it becomes smooth. This should be a chunky guacamole.

Serves 8

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Guatemalan Avocado Salad with Arugula and Chile-Lime Dressing

This is the salad I’ve settled on serving with the Pollo en Jocon we’ll be having for Thanksgiving—a mixture of creamy and rich and light and crisp (it’s a variation on a traditional Guatemalan recipe from the excellent book, False Tongues and Sunday Bread). I could tell you about how healthy the monounsaturated fats from the avocados are, but you already know that. Instead, just enjoy the dish.


2 large, ripe avocados
1 hard-boiled egg, peeled and coarsely mashed
2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
1/4 cup jicama, peeled and cut into a 1/4-inch dice
1/4 cup lime juice, divided
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh hot chiles
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Canola oil
6 cups arugula, cleaned and dried

Scrape the flesh from the avocados into a bowl and roughly mash it with the egg. Mix in the onion, jicama, 2 tablespoons lime juice, oregano and salt and pepper to taste, but take care to only mix enough to blend, not so much so that it becomes smooth.

In a tight sealing jar, shake together remaining lime juice, chiles, vinegar, oil and salt and pepper to taste. Let sit for at least 20 minutes.

To serve, toss arugula with dressing and arrange on a platter. Mound avocado salad on top and serve with hot tortillas.

Note: This also makes a great variation of guacamole — just omit the arugula and serve with chips.

Serves 4 as a main course, 8 as a side

Grilled Onions with Chile-Nut Puree

These grilled onions make me  think of Mexico and cebollitas (little onions), nestled in embers, turning buttery soft with a rich, smoky flavor. I like to wrap the charred tail around the bulb like wrapping string around a ball, then I scrape it through the flavorful paste and pop it in my mouth whole.


2 red bell peppers
1 tomato, halved lengthwise
1/2 onion
5 cloves garlic, peeled
1 ancho chile, halved, stemmed and seeded
3 chile morro (or 2 dried chipotles), halved, stemmed and seeded
1/4 cinnamon stick
3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
3/4 ounce peanuts, (about 3 tablespoons)
1/4 teaspoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
2 pounds spring onions, cleaned, greens kept on
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar

On a medium-high grill or over an open flame, roast bell pepper until flesh is completely charred, 12-15 minutes. Transfer to a paper bag until cool enough to handle, then peel, stem and seed. Place roasted peppers in the bowl of a food processor.

Heat a large skillet to medium and toast tomato, onion and garlic. Turn every few minutes to char all surfaces, about 5 minutes total, and transfer to food processor. Flatten chiles onto the skillet and toast for 30 seconds on both sides, until shiny and fragrant (be careful not to scorch). Transfer to the bowl. Add cinnamon stick and pumpkin seeds to the skillet, and transfer to the bowl when toasted and fragrant. Add peanuts, cumin and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the mixture and process until a coarse paste.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and when oil is hot, add puree (be careful; puree may splatter at first). Fry sauce for 5 minutes, until darkened a shade and thickened. Remove from heat, stir in vinegar and transfer to a serving bowl.

Toss green onions with remaining teaspoon oil and salt and grill for 5-8 minutes, turning often, until charred but not burnt on all sides. Serve with Chile-Nut Puree.

Serves 4

Bestest Buttermilk-Chive Dressing

There’s something about a creamy, tangy – dare I say? – zippy buttermilk dressing that makes it positively crave-able. And despite its richness, buttermilk has fewer calories than whole milk, so pour it on and let go of the guilt.


1 cup buttermilk, well-shaken
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons chives, minced
1 tablespoon onion, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and grated
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a tight-sealing jar and shake until well blended. Store in refrigerator up to five days.

Yields about 1-1/2 cups

Go-to Vinaigrette

People are often shocked when they see how easy it is to make this homemade vinaigrette recipe. Feel free to experiment with the ingredients using these general ratios. Try swapping the garlic and white wine vinegar for shallots and champagne vinegar, for instance, or even ginger and rice wine vinegar. The jar serves as both shaker and storage container. No need for a bowl and a whisk — or store-bought salad dressing.