Milk Mayonnaise

This milk mayonnaise, called maionese de leite in Portuguese, is an emulsion of milk and oil seasoned with garlic and white pepper.

A jar of milk mayonnaise with a spoon resting inside.

This is one of those recipes that require quotation marks, not out of affectation, but because it’s not a true mayonnaise. It contains no egg yolks or mustard. It’s nothing more than an emulsion of milk and oil. More Brazilian than Portuguese, it’s just now beginning to be used on the Continent. The taste is lighter and cleaner than that of an egg-based mayonnaise, allowing other flavors to come through.

Since I was given the recipe, I haven’t stopped finding ways to cook with it. The master recipe is only a canvas for additions. Besides the uses in this book, I’ve smeared the variations on grilled meats and fish, used them as dips and in dressings, spread them on sandwiches, and stirred them into potato salads, much as I do with actual mayonnaise.

Atenção: Like all emulsions, this recipe can be a bit finicky. But adding the oil in a thin stream and stopping when the right consistency is reached is the key. For almost foolproof results, a handheld blender is best, but a small canister blender with a narrow base will do.–David Leite

☞ READ THE ARTICLE: THE SECRET BEHIND MILK MAYONNAISE

Milk Mayonnaise

  • Quick Glance
  • (20)
  • 5 M
  • 5 M
  • Makes 1 cup
4.9/5 - 20 reviews
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Ingredients

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Directions

Combine the milk, lemon juice, garlic, and pepper in a 2-cup glass measuring cup. Using a handheld blender (or a blender), buzz on high for 30 seconds until frothy.

With the motor running on high, slowly pour in the oil a few drops at a time, and gradually increase this to a fine thread, moving the blender up and down, until the mixture thickens lusciously and resembles a soft mayonnaise. You may need more or less oil. Season with salt to taste. The mayonnaise will last up to 1 week in the fridge.

Tester tip: If your immersion blender is less powerful than some, the consistency of the mayonnaise may turn out thinner than you’d expect. Simply add 2 more tablespoons oil to the milk mayonnaise as you continue to blend and it will thicken nicely.
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    Variations

    • Clockwise from top right: cilantro-ginger, curry, anchovy, sun-dried tomato.
      Milk Mayonnaise variations

    • Cilantro and Ginger Milk Mayonnaise | Maionese de Leite com Coentros e Gengibre
    • Add 1 loosely packed cup of well-dried fresh cilantro leaves and tendril-soft stems and a 1 1/2-inch peeled and grated thumb of ginger to the cup along with the milk, 1 3/4 teaspoons of lemon juice, and the pepper. Omit the garlic. Whir in the oil as directed above. Stir in 1 scallion cut into thin slices on the diagonal.

    • Anchovy Milk Mayonnaise | Maionese de Leite com Anchovas
    • Add 6 anchovy fillets (generous 1 tablespoon) packed in oil to the cup along with the milk, lemon juice, garlic, and pepper. Whir in the oil as directed above. Omit the salt.

    • Curry Milk Mayonnaise | Maionese de Leite com Caril
    • Add 2 teaspoons of your favorite curry powder to the cup along with the milk, lemon juice, garlic, and pepper. Whir in the oil as directed above. Before using, let this sit for an hour or so in the fridge to bloom.

    • Tomato Milk Mayonnaise | Maionese de Leite com Tomate
    • Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of double-concentrate tomato paste to the cup along with the milk, garlic, and pepper. Omit the lemon juice. Whir in the oil as directed above. Stir in 1 tablespoon minced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes.

    #leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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