What do you do with a surplus of egg yolks? The obvious answers are to make custard or ice cream or mayonnaise, or something else that uses egg yolks. But sometimes we don’t always want to make something just to use something else up. When I separate eggs for a recipe, most often I end up with a ton of egg whites. On occasion, though, I have leftover egg yolks and if I’m not using them immediately (such as using them in custard) I save them for future use by freezing them.
There is a way to freeze egg yolks and still be able to use them afterward, which is by stabilizing them. Egg yolks are gelatinous and they need a stabilizer, otherwise when you thaw them they won’t return to their previous state. A stabilizer is usually a sweetener, such as sugar, or a preservative like salt, depending on what you plan to use the yolks for.
I’ve been making scrambled eggs for years, but it’s only been a short while that I’ve learned how to make them properly. You see, I would cook the eggs like an omlette and when it was done, I’d break it up into pieces – in my mind, effectively scrambling the eggs. It was only after reading Julia Child’s My Life in France, in which she describes how she learns to scramble eggs at the Cordon Bleu that I started to wonder. I tried it, stirring the beaten eggs in the pan as they cooked, so that the cooked egg would mix with the uncooked egg until they were creamy, fluffy, scrambled eggs.
I’ve eventually learned how to make scrambled eggs quickly – and it only takes two minutes of cooking time. Seriously, I timed it. Whoever’s said that scrambled eggs aren’t fast, that they take forever…this might make you reconsider when you’re in a fix for a quick meal.
For the longest time I started to associate mayonnaise with Julia Child – and I still kind of do. Her fascination and obsession with it, as described in My Life in France, was the same as mine when I stumble upon some personal culinary discovery and tweaking it until I’m satisfied with it (or other food-related piece of info). It’s my analytical brain, I’m sure; there are some foods that I have an utter fascination for strictly in the preparation – just the sheer magic of it – but I’m not as crazy about eating it.
In my local edition of Edible, there is an essay about mayonnaise followed by a recipe for preparing it. I have had past attempts at making mayonnaise, although not – in my view – very successful ones, at least not that I consider myself proud. Plus, I took issue with that one full cup of oil – back when I didn’t understand the chemistry of mayonnaise I thought it was too much. I thought it would be too oily.
Like some things, such as mastering meringue without refined sugar or successfully poaching an egg, making mayonnaise and rising triumphant at the end is extremely gratifying. Now with experience under my belt, I feel that same, deep wonder that Julia Child felt.
I only truly understood how mayonnaise is created when I watched it happen, so I made a little video. It’s amazing to watch and even more amazing to watch it happen by your own hand – in other words, making it yourself.