Monday, 3 June 2013

Meat Free Monday: oeufs dur mayonnaise

My mother will tell you that when I was a very small foodycat I was addicted to the egg mayonnaise at Cranks in Guildford. I think I have a clear memory of how it tasted, and brown pottery plates, but seeing as it was thirty-five plus years ago I think it is safe to say that my memories may be inaccurate. At least in part because I remember the mayonnaise tasting very much like Heinz salad cream, and I don't honestly see how that is possible if it was home made.

Elizabeth David writes in French Provincial Cooking "It may seem superfluous to give a recipe for so basic a dish as egg mayonnaise, but sometimes, in the search for originality, the most obvious dishes are forgotten. No one ever need be ashamed to offer their guests a well-made dish of egg mayonnaise, for it is always appreciated". I don't know if it was the search for originality or the lingering fear of cholesterol - the dietary bogeyman of my teenage years - but I certainly haven't made, eaten or even thought about egg mayonnaise in a very long time. But old-fashioned French-style brasseries are having a bit of a moment in London and places like Brasserie Zedel are putting it back on the menu.

One day last week it seemed like a very good idea. I had a nice chunk of olive sourdough bread that was really calling out for something gentle and soothing to eat with it. Home made mayonnaise is the easiest thing in the world but I had some good-quality bought mayo so I didn't bother. I also couldn't quite bring myself to present it in the Mrs David-approved fashion, smearing mayonnaise thickly across the plate and topping it with halved eggs and parsley sprinkles. I put my eggs on a bed of lettuce, dolloped a little mayonnaise on top and revelled in nostalgia.

9 comments:

Blonde said...

I bloody love egg mayonnaise. Also hollandaise. Basically eggs with egg sauce in any formation is a winner.

The Silver Bunny said...

I looove egg mayonnaise, in fact your picture is sending me into the kitchen to make some right now (thankfully, it's dinner time !).

The Cat's Mother said...

my memory of the Crank's egg mayonnaise is that is was a single hard boiled egg served in an earthenware bowl in a sea of mayo. It did not taste of Heinz salad cream but was more liquid than my home made mayonnaise.

I am so glad eggs are off the dangerous food list.

Foodycat said...

Blonde - yes, eggs with hollandaise, or omelette arnold bennett - eggs and butter with eggs and butter is just lovely!

Silver Bunny - it's going to go back on regular rotation here, I think!

Mother - me too. I do love them!

Joanne said...

Foods with a memory attached are just that much more delicious!

grace said...

i am quite opposed to mayonnaise in any capacity, but i've certainly been given odd looks for some of my childhood favorites, so i won't judge. :)

Couscous & Consciousness said...

Pretty darn hard to beat a good egg-mayo. I love your treatment with a few salad leaves and some good sourdough bread. I'd like to come have lunch at your place!!

Simona said...

Love how you told the story!

Megan said...

My mother (embarassingling) told an old boyfriend that mayonnaise was a food group for me. I love the stuff, but I only eat Hellmann's brand. I've never had homemade, despite husband's desire to try his hand at it.

For some reason, this looks seriously appetizing. Is it the egg? Is it the mayo? No idea, but I'm thinking this may have to be done in my home sometime.

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