View Full Version : Heavy-duty mayonnaise

Rita Y
05-10-2007, 08:20 AM
A local restaurant uses "heavy-duty" mayonnaise in a poblano-flavored tartar sauce for fish tacos and in a lime-jalapeno sauce for fried chicken tacos.

How is the heavy-duty mayonnaise different from regular Hellmann's? There was something mentioned that the heavy-duty mayonnaise does not have as much lemon juice but I'm not sure if I heard right.

Is this type of mayonnaise available to the public?


K Kruger
05-10-2007, 11:11 AM
I don't know of any heavy-duty mayo available to the public.

The difference between regular mayo and heavy-duty Hellmann's is its egg content. (Other manufacturers might have different criteria/specifics as there is no standard for 'heavy-duty'.) This makes the product heavier, richer, and is made mostly for applications where mayo is a primary or significant secondary ingredient (as in salad dressings and sauces) where the increased egg (and subsequent lower relative water content) allows for a richer, less 'watery' finish.

Rita Y
05-10-2007, 01:37 PM
This was for a poblano-jalapeno tartar sauce with a little lemon for fish tacos. The lemon juice would thin it a bit. This is the approximate recipe:

1 poblano chile, chopped very fine
1 jalapeño chile, chopped very fine
Some finely chopped onion
Heavy-duty mayonnaise
Lemon juice

I'd like to be able to use a commercial mayonnaise if possible, to stay away from the raw eggs. Is there a trick to thickening regular Hellmann's to approximate the heavy-duty type?


05-10-2007, 02:37 PM
You could probably just add some corn starch to thicken it up a bit. Work for gravy and other sauces. Don't know why it wouldn't for mayonnaise.

Doug D
05-10-2007, 02:42 PM
Remember that corn starch only thickens what's been brought to a boil.

K Kruger
05-10-2007, 04:44 PM
One would normally use an additional egg yolk--either yolk from a pasteurized egg or a yolk that has been adequately acidified so as to kill any pathogens present as well as any that might be introduced via other ingredients. I'll note here that one of the most persistent myths is that mayonnaise is the culprit behind food-borne illnesses arising from summer picnics and parties. It isn't (it's usually temperature abuse or cross-contamination--either of the food during prep or by serving foods in communal bowls from which people serve themselves with often unwashed hands).

Mayonnaise and similar products are very safe because they are acidified. Commercial producers don't do anything 'special'. Though no one wants to eat raw egg, home cooks can make egg-based products--mayonnaise, Hollandaise, Béarnaise, Cesar dressing, aïoli--that are perfectly safe--as safe as commercial products.

Anyway, I'm not sure you really need a richer mayo here. I'd likely first try reducing the water content through a few minor alterations.
[Note: If you've not tried it, pick up a jar of mayo from TJ's--the one with the yellow label. I prefer its traditional flavor (it's made without sugar).]

So--you can do one or more of the following to reduce the added water:

<UL TYPE=SQUARE><LI>Replace most or all of the lemon juice with lemon zest. Use Microplaned zest or powdered zest. For best results, mix into the mayo ahead of time and allow to meld all day in the fridge.
<LI>Prep the finely chopped peppers as you would parsley for your mis en place, viz. pile the prepped peppers in the middle of a double-thickness of paper towel, gather the towel up around the pile and twist it very tightly to squeeze the water out of the peppers. Squeeze the bundle with your hands as well then add the peppersto the mayo. As above, mix into the mayo ahead of time and allow to meld all day in the fridge.
<LI>Replace some of the peppers with finely minced dried versions of the same variety. As above, mix into the mayo ahead of time and allow to meld all day in the fridge.[/list]

Add the onion not long before serving. Add the salt just before serving; taste, adjust lemon flavor/brightness by adding fresh juice, a drop or two at a time. Serve. (A tiny pinch of ground white pepper would not be unwelcome, imo.)

Tomorrow, when I've more time, I'll post a recipe for homemade mayo that I assure you is very safe--and easy to make to boot.

K Kruger
05-14-2007, 06:04 AM
Here is a recipe for homemade mayo that is perfectly safe. The acidification of the yolks is all that is really necessary--but this recipe adds another step in order to pasteurize the yolks and enable the mayo to be used immediately: heat.

Normally, heating eggs yolks to the point where pasteurization occurs cooks them to a point where they won't work for things like fresh mayo and egg-based sauces like Hollandaise or Béarnaise because the proteins in the yolks harden as their temps exceed 150. However, if one acidifies the egg yolks and dilutes it by the addition of water, the temps needed for protein coagulation are raised past the point of pasteurization. The diluted yolks can be effectively pasteurized by gentle heating and this will occur before the proteins harden making it possible to make the mayo both safe and creamy and, because of the acidification and resulting low Ph, one with excellent shelf-life. In fact, the Ph is low enough (3.5) that federal regulations would allow its storage on the counter instead of the fridge(!)--but for best quality and flavor it should be fridged.

This recipe is based on and adapted from the science and methods of Harold McGee and Pete Snyder.

3 egg yolks from large eggs

2 T white wine vinegar

2 T lemon juice

2 T water

2 t ground dry mustard or 1-2 t prepared mustard (I use Dijon)

1/2 t salt

ground white pepper to taste (optional)

up to 3 c oil (see note)

Using the top section of a small double boiler or a small stainless steel bowl (but one large enough to comfortably whisk/stir the mix), combine the egg yolks, white wine vinegar, lemon juice and water.

In the bottom of the double boiler (or in a pot sized to accomodate the small stainless steel bowl), bring a small quantity of water to a simmer (180-190F) and place the egg mixture over the simmering water.

Whisking or stirring the egg mixture gently but constantly, heat the mixture to a temp of 150. (This happens fairly quickly.) It is essential to temp frequently and to use an accurate tip-sensitive thermocouple thermometer. (Do not use a bimetal analog thermometer!) If you wish, tape the therm probe to the whisk to get a constant reading while stirring.

When the egg mixture hits 150, immediately remove the bowl from the bottom of the double boiler or pot and place on the counter to cool to room temp. (The pasteurized mix is stable and can be fridged for several days before continuing. The Ph is 3.5, well below the 4.1 necessary.)

Place the mix in a larger stainless steel bowl and add the dry or prepared mustard, salt and optional white pepper. Using a balloon whisk or an electric hand mixer, whisk the mixture till just combined and then, very slowly, just a t at a time, begin adding the oil. Once the emulsion forms the oil can be added more rapidly but try to keep it no faster than a slow steady stream.

I egg yolk can emulsify 1 c of oil so up to 3 c can be used. Quit the oil addition when the mayo looks right to you. The mayo will become quite thick and, if desired, can be thinned a bit with additional wine vinegar or lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Put the mayo in a sanitized container and cover. As noted above, federal regs state that a mix this acidified and stable need not be fridged but for best quality do so. It should have a shelf-life of 3-5 weeks.

Note: For typical mayo use a neutral-tasting vegetable oil. While olive oil makes a distinctive mayo (and is essential for aïoli and its variations), mayo made with olive oil should be used immediately as chilling it to frisge temp solidifies the olive oil causing the mayo to break.

Rita Y
05-14-2007, 04:42 PM
Kevin, sorry I didn't see your last 2 posts until just now. I've been doing some aerobic cooking and haven't had a spare minute.

Thank you! This is excellent information and I'm copying it all to my mayonnaise folder. I used to make mayonnaise all the time with half canola and half olive oil and at least with that combo had no problems with it breaking.

I'm anxious to give your methods a try ASP.