Sweet Cooking

The Mayonnaise Mishap

In Just Good Food on April 9, 2010 at 5:22 pm

I made pimento cheese today.

Cheddar cheese, cream cheese, mayonnaise and roasted red peppers make pimento cheese.

My favorite recipe for pimento cheese is by Frank Stitt. Stitt is the owner/chef of Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham, Alabama. His cookbooks are beautiful…the stories, the photos, the recipes are lovely. Highlands was actually just awarded a James Beard award for best restaurant – that’s like the academy awards for the culinary world. He deserves it. The restaurant is fantastic.

His  pimento cheese recipe calls for homemade or “best commercial quality” mayo. I was feeling confident and decided to make my own homemade mayonnaise. It seems like a simple enough thing. The base for mayonnaise is egg yolk, vegetable oil and lemon juice. Frank Stitt’s homemade mayo recipe can be found here.

So, I was following the recipe and doing everything right. I was adding the oil in bit by bit in these miniscule little drops. I was whisking away. I whisked so much that I got a cramp in my hand. I was a little annoyed because adding an entire cup of oil one drop at a time takes FOREVER. I go to the gym, I lift weights – yet my arm is about to fall off during this whisking process. BUT, after about 8-10 tiny little drops of oil (whisking in between each), I have something in my bowl that looks like mayonnaise.

I continued adding the painfully tiny drops of oil into my bowl and whisking after each little drop. I became impatient and increased the size of my drops just a tad. I breathed a big sigh of relief because my mayo still looks good (still whisking). Well, I tested it just a wee bit more and increased the size of the drops again. BIG MISTAKE. My mayonnaise “broke” and turned into a slushy, oily mess. I added an additional egg yolk (still whisking), but it didn’t help. I got out the electric hand mixer and tried to bring it back to life to no avail. I whisked some more, but my mayo was toast. I threw it out. What a disappointment. I looked this up on-line after the mishap, and many people suggest using an electric whisk. That makes a ton of sense!! The electric whisk will save your arm (note to self….do your research prior to starting a new project). Next time I will use an electric whisk and a medical syringe to patiently add the oil in tiny amounts.

I made the pimento cheese anyway. I used store bought mayo, and you know what, my pimento cheese tastes pretty dang good. I did roast my own red peppers – the ones in the jar taste funny to me. Stitt’s pimento cheese recipe can be found here. I didn’t add the sugar, and I used a combination of white and yellow cheddar cheese. We’ll enjoy the spread on sandwiches during the Masters!

Pimento cheese sandwiches are a classic at Augusta National Golf Course.

  1. LaVon, LOVE THE BLOG! I’m glad your mom clued me in; I can feel confident my southern tastebuds will be delighted and yet not assaulted by all the usual frying of EVERYTHING!

    Tomorrow I shop for ingredients to try several recipes…chicken salad (cantaloupe!) and pimento cheese followed by cupcakes with peanut butter icing! Or maybe the cupcakes will be my “starter”!

    Of course, I’ll have to be careful or Craig will think he should be fed on a regular basis!

    Good to “chat” with you!

    • I’m glad you like the blog. I made a great shrimp salad today. Being so close to the gulf, yours will be even better! I miss really fresh shrimp up here. – LaVon

  2. My mouth is watering- I have got to make that recipe! I love the blog, I am super impressed- great work. I will definitely have to check back and see what other interesting meals you have made. Thanks for sharing- Cathy

    • I hope you had a good weekend and that Jake’s competition went well. Will y’all please come visit us the summer? We can hang at the beach and the boys can golf!

  3. funny, i was at my parents house tonight watching the last day of the masters. we started talking about my grandmothers pimento cheese that she made from scratch. yours look just as delicious (and that is saying a lot!)

  4. LaVon, Bobby Jones would be proud!!!! Great way to watch the Masters, eating a pimento cheese…. look into a ribbon sandwich and give us your thougts on that. I’ll have to say I would have choked on my pimento cheese when Michelson pulled out that 6 iron and hit thru the trees over Ray’s Creek ( by just a little) on Hole 13, unbelieveable. Great win for Phil, and his family.Dad.

    • Hey Dad – I will look into the ribbon sandwich. Is that a southern folklore or does it really exist?? I will find out and do a recipe test!LaVon

      • LaVon, it is a southern delicacy , but may have a very limited geographical footprint, i.e. behind the Piggly Wiggly , on Monroe St. Alex. City, Over the years people have been perplexed to hear of a ribbon sandwich, but every once in a while someone will say ,oh I had one of those as a child. It of course falls within my culinary abilities in that the sandwich consist of pimento cheese, peanut butter and jelly on triple decker bread , at last cut into to ribbon strips. See what you can do to authenticate this seemingly mystical treat. Dad

  5. LaVon, You must cut the crust off of the bread too. You just can’t serve ribbon sandwiches with crust!!

    Oh and egg and olive sandwiches were always a hit at the Master’s as well.

    Love the Blog!!! Jane

    • Glad you like the blog. I’m having a lot of fun doing it. I hope all is well with you and your family! – LaVon

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