This is a story about getting dressed

Getting dressed is something that a lot of people learn how to do in the early years of their life. A bit like doing their wees and poos on the toilet, and not eating steamy dog turds from the back lawn… or was that just my kids. The most basic of life skills, yet one that pays us back ten fold. Being dressed allows us to survive in the cold, drip searing hot rib sauce over our big fat belly without the need to administer burn cream and, most importantly, pick up hot chicks because they can’t see our tiny little pee-pee.

And as a child of the professional kitchen (or a red headed step child at best, but I think we’ve previously discussed that) dressing is something that every new student should be taught in the early days, albeit a type of dressing that doesn’t involve clothes. I’m not saying they should rock up to their first shift naked (maybe not unless they are a very attractive young lady), far from it in fact. Im just saying that apprentices in the commercial kitchen need to be taught the importance of dressing a salad. I’m sure plain jane naked lettuce is a delicacy in some carnival circles out there, but not in my kitchen. That shit is nasty!

Another point that should be made clear as the space between the prom queen’s ears; leafy salads get dressed just before serving. Limp soggy lettuce is about as appealing as the old man in the Cher g-string and fish nets at mardi gras. Believe me, I’ve seen them both and I can compare!

Three points to remember;
1. A good salad equals the sum of it’s dressing.

2. A good dressing equals one part acid, three parts oil.

3. A good undressing equals me, three girls, one litre of oil and four tabs of acid.

APPLE CIDER VINAIGRETTE
6 tablespoons whatever mustard you have in the back of the fridge
4 tablespoons castor sugar
200ml apple cider vinegar
400ml vegetable or neutral flavoured oil
200ml extra virgin olive oil
seasoning
• Combine all ingredients except oils. Whisk together
• Slowly whisk oils into other ingredients to emulsify
• Check seasoning and thin with a splash of water if neccesary

Use to dress just about any leafy salad or slaw. My favourite at the mo’ is mixed leaves with a bit if shallot and lightly pickled cucumber. Kind of poncy I know, but poncy is a word I’m trying to use more in conversation at the moment…

Mayonnaise…

Mayonnaise. Seriously lacking creativity in the title but I got nothing today…

How rude am I? I harp on about how you should be making your own mayo, and I’m pretty sure I haven’t even given you a recipe. One of the most basic and glorious condiments. Versatile as fuck, and a damn good friend in this our time of need. Help us obi wan Kenobi, you’re our only hope… Hmmm. Slightly off track but I’m going to pay it. Star Wars has a place in any conversation as far as I’m concerned.

Not that I’m concerned. You’re going to do just fine. But if you’re not scared about making an emulsified dressing for the first time… You should be… You should be.

The first and foremost rule of your first emulsification, and your first sexual encounter I may add, is GO SLOWLY. You are defying logic – you are making oil bind to some egg and shite.

This is not a race. Unless of course you are in a mayonnaise making race. In which case you should go really fast. The hopes of your country are riding on you right now. Whisk boy. Whisk!

PS. Once you know how to make mayonnaise a whole world of condiments will be at your fingertips… Aioli, tartare, and flavored mayos as far as your little mind can imagine. Here, let me be of assistance. Seeded mustard, smoked paprika, saffron, charred chilli, anything.

Basic mayo goes something like this

2 egg yolks

1 tspn Dijon mustard

1Tbls apple cider vinegar or lemon juice or something acidic

Seasoning

200ml veg oil

50ml olive oil

A splash of water if it needs thinning out

 

  • Put the egg yolks, mustard, vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper into a bowl if you are hand whisking this, or into a round tub (like the one in the picture) if you live in a country that has electricity and you have the common sense to own a stick wizz.
  • Whisk until the yolks start to fluff up and turn pale.
  • While whisking, slowly add the oil in a light trickle. Don’t stop whisking while you’re doing this.
  • You should notice that it is all binding as one glorious spreadable mass. Do not be temped to pour the oil in quickly. Take it nice and slow and worry about getting it done quickly when you’re married.
  • Once all of the oil is in there add A DROP or two of water to get it to your desired consistency, and check seasoning. Always with the checking of the seasoning.
  • If this is your first time, smear some of your finished mayo on a piece of fresh white bread and eat it like you were an eight year old trailer park kid with his school lunch. Mmmmmm