A Swiss Mayonnaise

Preparation info

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Appears in

Modern Cookery for Private Families

By Eliza Acton

Published 1845

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Beat half a pound of butter to a cream, and then add it very gradually to the hard-boiled yolks of six fresh eggs which have been cut into quarters, separated carefully from the whites, and pounded to a perfect paste; when these are blended into a smooth sauce add, a few drops at a time, some of the finest salad oil that can be procured, and work the mixture in the same manner as the mayonnaise of Chapter VI. until no particle of it remains visible: a small quantity of salt also must be thrown in, and sufficient good vinegar in very small portions, to give an agreeable acidity to the preparation. (fresh lemon-juice might be substituted in part for this, and a little fine cayenne used with it; but though we suggest this, we adhere to our original Swiss receipt for this excellent dish, even when we think it might be slightly improved in flavour.)

Carve very neatly two delicate boiled fowls, and trim the joints into handsome form. Lay the inferior parts upon a large plate, and spread a portion of the sauce, which should be very thick, upon them; arrange them in a flat layer in the dish in which they are to be served; then sauce in the same way more of the joints, and arrange them symmetrically over the others. Proceed thus to build a sort of pyramid with the whole; and decorate it with the whites of the eggs, and the hearts of small lettuces cut in halves. Place these last round the base alternately with whole bantams’ or plovers’ eggs, boiled hard a small slice must be cut from the large end of each of these to admit of their being placed upright. A slight branch of parsley, or other foliage, may be stuck in the tops. Roast chickens divested entirely of the skin, can always be substituted for boiled ones in a mayonnaise: they should all be separated into single joints with the exception of the wings. The quite inferior parts need not be used at all.

The same sauce rather highly flavoured with cayenne, and other condiments, and more or less, to the taste, with essence of anchovies or anchovy butter, and coloured with lobster-coral, will make an excellent fish-salad, with alternate slices of lobster,—cut obliquely to increase their size,—and of cold turbot or large soles. These can be raised into a high border or chain round a dish when more convenient, and the centre filled with young fresh salad, sauced at the instant it is sent to table.

A French mayonnaise docs not vary much from the preceding, except in the composition of the sauce, for which see Chapter VI. It should always be kept very thick. A little rich cold white sauce is sometimes mixed with it.