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Get Ready for the Mother Sauce

“Whatever happens on the other side, let’s hope Neptune isn’t the guy in control,…” Rory said to us, as he boiled up shrimp and prawns this week.

Here in Ireland, these are “prawns” (Dublin Bay prawns). I think in the U.S. we would call them langoustines….

A prawn and prawn tails with a little homemade mayonnaise:


And here are some shrimp, also with homemade mayonnaise, on some brown yeast bread:


I loved making mayonnaise almost as much as I love eating seafood. However, mine didn’t become quite as thick as I would have liked. The trick I think is how you drizzle the oil into your egg yolks. I had to start and stop a few times because I couldn’t maneuver whisking my bowl (also had French mustard, salt, and white wine vinegar in it) as I drizzled in the oil from my measuring cup (which here they call a pyrex jug). I think you really have to drizzle continuously to get the right texture.

Rory says that the right mayonnaise “turns a simple dish into an absolute feast” and looking at our long list of mayonnaise recipes, I would have to agree. It’s called a ‘mother sauce’ because so many ‘daughter sauces’ can be made just by adding some extra ingredients. There’s coriander mayonnaise and wasabi mayonnaise, roasted red pepper mayonnaise, mango mayonnaise (!?!), lemon mayonnaise, and many more. At Ballymaloe, our basic mayonnaise recipe included 6 fluid ounces sunflower oil and then 2 ounces olive oil. The basic idea is to pair a strong flavored oil (olive, hazelnut, walnut, etc.) with a more neutral oil (sunflower, arachide, grapeseed).


In addition to mayonnaise and shrimp, this demo spread includes a few different kinds of moussaka (including a braised lamb neck one and a vegetarian one), a fluffy lemon pudding, and bowls of spiced apple chutney. Enjoy!

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