Wednesday, 14 July 2010


Cooked and smoked shell-on prawns and dressed crab with homemade mayonnaise

It's The Boy's birthday and I wanted to treat him to a tasty meal for two with the minimum amount of complex preparation so that I could maintain (at least for a while) an air of calm and sophistication. Yeah right. Anyway, I didn't want to be running around like a headless chicken and worrying about timings rather than enjoying the company of the birthday Boy.

The day started at 5:30am when I was up to make The Boy a cup of well-deserved birthday tea at his habitual weekday wake-up time. I didn't get a chance to think anniversaire fayre until my lunch break where I trotted off towards St Nicholas' Market in Bristol. Fate was on my side as I didn't realise that Wednesdays sees the Farmers Market invade the pedestrian street, selling fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and fish as well as much more.

I selected single cream from Jessie's Ladies, which proved to be totally divine from the tasters that were out. I also selected a few handfuls of smoked and cooked shell-on prawns and a dressed crab from one of the fishmongers. I was thinking too much about my menu to notice the name of many of the stall holders but I did procure half a loaf of ciabatta from a friendly baker. This was supplemented with a few bits and pieces and turned into an indoor picnic feast of baked Camembert with caramalised balsamic onions, homemade basil pesto and a seafood plate that you can see above.

I decided that now was the time to give homemade mayo a go and I've got to say, it's not as hard as I expected. Give it a go yourself...


You will need: (to feed two keen dippers)
1 egg yolk
125ml sunflower oil
25ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp lemon juice

- Remove all of the ingredients ahead of time so that they are at room temperature
- Place the egg yolk in a mixing bowl (pop a teatowel underneath to stop it sliding about)
- Whisk the egg yolk with a generous pinch of salt until it starts to look thick and sticky
- While whisking the mixture, pour a slow thin but steady stream of sunflower oil into the bowl. The mixture will start to thicken and become paler.
- When the mix comes together into a consistency that you like, add the sunflower oil while whisking quickly until completely combined. If the mixture is too thick, add a drizzle of water and whisk. Repeat if required.
- Add mustard and lemon juice and whisk again.

Variations & Tips:
- As my mayo was for dipping, I wanted it to be slightly runnier and added a dribble of water to the mix.
- Stir in chopped herbs at the end to add flavour. Dill and fennel tops would go well with fish and cooked meats while finely chopped sundried tomatoeswould go well with cruditeé.

1 comment:

Lamiadrielan said...

Wonderful. Your method does sound like it involves scary multi-tasking though, and girl I may be, multi-tasker I am not. I will give it a go when I return to the 'Ford though, it sounds and looks yummy! Your Boy sounds like he was royally spoilt ;-)

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