One fun fact about mayonnaise:
Technically, it's a stable emulsion, a mixture of two things that don't really want to mix at all -- oil and acid (lemon juice or vinegar) -- with something to keep them together, or emulsify them, once they meet (the lecithin contained in egg yolks). Commercially produced mayonnaise labeled as real must use only egg as the emulsifier, and by law must contain at least 65 percent oil. The salad dressing I like so much has no egg to keep the oil and acid together, but I still love it. Sometimes, though, only the real thing will do, so I always have it in my refrigerator.
Cooking or baking?
Surprisingly, both. Most often mayonnaise is used in sauces, or for breading baked chicken, or in salad dressings, but old-fashioned chocolate or carrot cakes made with mayonnaise are popular.
Commercial mayonnaise can be stored unopened in the cupboard. Once opened, it must be refrigerated, and will keep for up to six months. Homemade mayo always goes into the refrigerator, and will keep for a couple of days.
Bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich with turkey and chipotle mayo
Not really a recipe, this incredibly good sandwich is more of an idea. Substitute roast beef for the turkey, or leave out the meat altogether. Make the mayonnaise more or less spicy, to your taste. Add a slice or two of avocado, if you have a ripe one on hand. Toast the bread, or not, as you wish. With so few ingredients, each one needs to be the best, so don't use wilted lettuce or off-season tomatoes. Serves 2.
4 strips of bacon
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 chipotle pepper in adobo, finely minced, plus 1 tsp of adobo sauce from the can
4 slices country white or wheat bread
A few leaves of crunchy lettuce (I like iceberg)
1 large, ripe tomato, sliced into at least 4 slices
2-4 large slices roast turkey breast
Fresh black pepper to taste
In a nonstick frying pan set over medium-low heat, cook the bacon until it's browned but not overly crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove to a plate covered with paper towels, and blot the bacon dry.
While the bacon is cooking, stir together the mayonnaise and chipotle pepper with the adobo sauce. Set aside.
When the bacon is done, assemble your sandwiches. Toast the bread (or not, as you prefer). Place two slices of bread on each plate. Slather the inside of each piece with the spicy mayonnaise. Add the lettuce, then turkey, then bacon, and finally the tomato slices. Season with a bit of fresh black pepper. Close the sandwich, slice in half, and serve.
Roasted shrimp po' boy sandwich with Greek yogurt cole slaw and remoulade sauce, from The Perfect Pantry
Grilled tuna sandwiches with tartar sauce, from The Perfect Pantry
Spicy shrimp sandwich with chipotle avocado mayonnaise, from Life's Ambrosia
Chicken sandwich with lime mayo and pickled jalapeños, from Inspired Taste
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