Tuesday, June 30, 2009

On emulsions


There is something magical about an emulsion that makes me giddy. My introduction to emulsions started with mayonnaise. It's amazingly simple. Delicate. Versatile. Lighter than the jarred stuff you grew up with.

The magic is in the process of watching something teeter between a sloppy greasy mess or a light and fluffy spread. A little too much oil at any one moment and your mayo will turn on you quickly. But I've never been prouder than when I saw with my own eyes, something that started to appear like a mayo. There was a point where I thought I had done something wrong. Where it wasn't quite a sloppy mess but nowhere close to what it should be. And then, poof, with it turned for the better. All the whisking was worth it.

The beauty of it all is that this can be a base for so many different flavors. The mayo above turned into a miso mayo based on a Gourmet magazine recipe. I replaced the white miso with a red creating a less creamy and bolder flavor. It was every bit as addictive as Gourmet suggests.

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