Homemade Sauces: Mayo, Harissa, & Chimichurri


I’ve always been a bit intimidated by homemade mayonnaise, but if you’re eating Paleo and you want mayo, then you need to make it yourself(because you can’t have canola oil).  First I whipped out my fancy schmancy Vitamix (which instantly gave me confidence).  I got started making the mayo according to the Vitamix instructions and almost immediately my eggs were scrambled from the heat of the motor.  I’m sure that I could have tried again and lowered the speed and that would have solved the problem.  But, I didn’t want to play trial and error. So I moved on to the food processor, after all, it’s how Mark Bittman makes his mayo.  Same problem.  Cooked eggs in about 2 seconds.  Next, the hand blender.  No emulsification.  Fail.  Fine, I guess I will to whisk it by hand, the old fashioned way.  I whisked until I thought my arm would fall off and the result was nothing short of amazing.  The mayo came out great and was so silky and delicious – incomparable to the store bought stuff.  I will definitely be making this again.

The Best Homemade Mayonnaise

1 egg yolk

1 ½ tsp fresh lemon juice

¼ tsp Dijon mustard

½ tsp salt

¾ cup *light* olive oil

Combine egg yolk, lemon juice, mustard, and salt in a bowl.  Whisk to combine everything well.

Whisking with fury, gradually add oil to the yolk mixture.  Start with just a few drops at a time, then add it in a slow stream.  Whisk like crazy until the oil is gone.  And don’t forget to breathe.


My little lady enjoying harissa and chimichurri. Brings a tear to my eye.

I’ve been wanting to make harissa for awhile.  I did some research and came up with this concoction that was extremely easy, very delicious (even my 4 and 5 year olds loved it), and, gasp, healthy!  We dipped almond meal crusted chicken tenders in it, but I think I will be dipping grilled chicken in it, come summer.  Here’s the recipe:


2 red peppers

2 garlic cloves, pressed through a garlic press

½ tsp red pepper flakes

½ tsp cumin

¼ cup olive oil

A good squeeze of lemon juice


Char the peppers on the grill.  Cover and let steam for a few minutes.  Peel off the black stuff and remove the seeds and stem.  Put the peppers, along with the rest of the ingredients in the food processor.  Add salt to taste.  Done.


While I realize that Chimichurri is traditionally served in Argentina with steak; I personally love it with vegetables.  Greens beans and asparagus are particularly good matches.  Try this very simple recipe from Mark Bittman; no special equipment needed.


Mangia e bevi come ti pare ma vestiti come si conviene.

“You can eat and drink the way you like, as long as you know how to dress accordingly.” – Italian Proverb

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