When there’s still a mound of cold meats to get through, post-Christmas, who you gonna call? Ghostbusters will ensure plenty of fun, but also rather a lot of melted marshmallow. So settle for the professional: mayonnaise.
Ah, good mayo, how I love thee. Particularly with chips. It’s a good European habit, and one I intend to keep, especially when the chips are good and the mayo homemade. But I will happily settle for jarred mayonnaise too – just keep the supply going.
Once upon a time, there was mayo, but it existed in other countries. The UK was ruled over by the iron fist of salad cream, and it looked like staying that way for a long time. At some point, mayo nervously made an entrance – and thank goodness it did.
Don’t get me wrong. I can do salad cream too. I did, for a long time, in packed lunch sandwiches for school. But mayo is in another class. It is thicker, creamier, better at mixing with things, even if it isn’t as piquant.
I am rather partial to Weird Al Jankovitch songs, and fear I am rather close to the mark when he sings:
‘I order all of my sandwiches with mayonnaise…’ Yes: I too am white and nerdy, though I pass on some of the other aspects of the song. Though I wouldn’t mind trying a Segway.
So, back to the food uses: mayo is what you want for potato salad. I have become keen on potato salad plus ie potato salad with various tasty ingredients. It’s great alongside frankfurters (hot or cold, up to you). But it also works well with fish. I think I’ve already indicated the mackerel and also smoked salmon options in other posts.
Recently, I rediscovered Russian salad ie with hardboiled egg, well chopped, and a mix of cold cooked veg like peas, little cubes of carrot, and so on. The egg afficianado of the house is taken with this. I generally avoid hardboiled egg, but I can just about take some of it in this form.
It may not be haute cuisine to say so, but mayo can give you a good quick sauce for pasta, if you think of adding some veg and/or meat or fish for taste. After all, mayo often goes in a pasta salad, so why not a hot version too?
Equally, if you’re doing your own sauce for prawn cocktail, it works just fine with mayo plus some ketchup – and maybe a little balsamic vinegar for a sharper twang? I guess Worcestershire sauce would also do here.
I do a few lunchy things with rice paper wraps at times – mayo comes in handy for holding the ingredients together before you construct your wraps. Or equally, go the route of soy and sesame oil, if you want to keep with the Oriental vibe.
I think you get the picture. And while we have a few dietary modifications to deal with at home, thankfully eggs are still in the picture, hence the usefulness of mayo. But part of me just loves the fact that someone worked out how to mix eggs and oil, and come out with such an amazing and versatile substance.
Time to stop. I think there’s a need for some sandwich busting.