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I cook things, photograph them, and put them on this blog so you can make them too, if you want. I have a master's in food studies, hate the word "authentic," and love pierogis. I also run Chicago Food Bloggers.

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Monday
Feb252013

homemade mayonnaise/ chicken salad

Did you watch the Academy Awards yesterday? Kind of strange. That's nice how Chicago won everything. Were you offended by Seth MacFarlane or not? He enunciates well, but he also seemed to hate everyone and cover all of his jokes with meta-humor and snark. "Are we still going to do this joke?" "You liked that joke, eh?" He kept saying things like that. Own your material! Good review.

I like the Academy Awards though! I like movies! I like to hope Zero Dark Thirty wins and then be mad when it doesn't. I like a good montage. Although, like everyone, I have some ideas for how to improve the Oscars:

Tell the presenters that they are performing the role of a lifetime. For some reason the presenters are always bad at presenting. They look straight ahead, awkwardly misread the teleprompter in a robot voice, mess up jokes, mispronounce every name, and then complain about how difficult it is to open the envelope. I'm embarrassed for them. When you recall that performing is their job, it's kind of strange. But maybe that's the problem! Maybe they are freaked out because they have to be themselves and not Ace Ventura or Neil Armstrong or a geisha. So give them a character to play! I don't think it even has to be really creative. Just tell them, "You are playing a very interesting, charismatic, and funny actress who needs to build interest and tension in this list of people you are about to read, because in a moment, for one of them, all of their dreams will come true, but for the other four, their every hope and wish will come crashing down all around them. Here is your script and there is the camera."

Stop worrying about how long the show is. We're already watching. It's sillier watching you try to race through the show, blasting music at crying winners to get them off the stage after two sentences. There's a lot to fit in the show: awards, montages, performances, that part where some suit from the Academy gets to speak for a little while. Just focus on putting on a good show. If the babies need go to bed, let them.

Encourage wacky clothes. You know which red carpet moment (hahaha) people remember the most? When Bjork wore that bird. Now people are too classy and elegant, which is to say boring. Maybe you should have a theme, like "Oscars on Mars" or "Only Homemade Clothes." A theme might help make the show a bit more cohesive, as well. Last night's show was like, how about William Shatner, a song about boobs, irreverent jokes, sock puppets, and Channing Tatum and Charlize Theron ballroom dancing. For just the opening. Perfect. Then what do we do? Let's make Jennifer Hudson sing that song we always make her sing.

More montages. For some reason it seems like the trend is less montages, and I can't for the life of me figure out why. Montages are the best! They make everything seem great and interesting. You know how movie trailers can make any movie look interesting? That's because they are just montages! Last night they even played a trailer for Life of Pi that made me want to see it for a little while, before I went back to thinking it looks like childish New Age mumbo jumbo.

Give total control to somebody interesting. Like Charlie Kaufman or Tim Burton (but with a limited budget) or something. This kind of goes with the theme thing. But, let them do it all their way: hire the host, choose their own writers, decorate the sets, etc. Every year you try to be everything to everyone and end up with a big, unfocused mess. You try to get these young, hip, edgy hosts that you think the kids will love, but wind up with Anne Hathaway singing and dancing next to a sleeping James Franco. You throw a million things on stage and hope everyone will find something to like. What if Julie Taymor produced the show? Aren't crazy things going through your mind right now? I would watch those things.

More Adele. Everyone loves her!

Anyways, are you ready to do some cooking? Maybe some horse meat burgers? Seems like horse meat is very popular right now. 

Instead we are making mayonnaise. I don't like mayonnaise from the grocery store because it tastes like cold boogers, but homemade mayonnaise is tasty! It has a fresh tang and is nice and smooth and velvety. It's very easy to make, as well. I like to use an immersion blender in a tall glass or takeout container, because you can make a small amount and the blender works so fast and hard it's almost difficult to break the emulsion. You can, however, make it in a food processor or with a whisk. Most recipes for homemade mayonnaise call for lemon juice, but I didn't have any on hand, so I used all apple cider vinegar (although you can use unflavored vinegar if you like). You can use any combination of lemon and vinegar you like. Also, homemade mayonnaise uses raw eggs, so the usual raw egg disclaimers apply.

You can use it to make a chicken salad sandwich. This sandwich is based on The Ike, a sandwich I used to buy from this coffee shop Espresso Royale on Boston University's campus. Oh it was so good.

Enjoy!

homemade mayonnaise

ingredients
+ 1 large egg
+ 1/2 teaspoon mustard (I used honey mustard, but you can use any kind you like)
+ 1 tablespoon vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
+ 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
+ 1 cup of unflavored oil (I used canola)

recipe
Add the large egg, 1/2 teaspoon of mustard, tablespoon of vinegar, and 1/8 teaspoon of salt to your mixing bowl. Mix completely.

Very slowly, with the mixer on, add the cup of oil, drop by drop, fully incorporating each drop. As the oil starts to form an emulsification, you can slowly move up to a drizzle. You can't pour the oil in too quickly or you risk breaking the emulsification. Continue until all of the oil has been used and the mixture is smooth and thick.

chicken salad bagel sandwiches with bacon, lettuce, tomato, and havarti

ingredients
+ 4 cups of diced, cooked chicken
+ 2 stalks celery, diced
+ 1 tablespoon finely chopped celery leaves
+ 1/4 cup chopped almonds
+ 1/4 cup chopped, dried apricots
+ 1 cup homemade mayonnaise
+ salt and pepper to taste
+ 4 bagels, sliced (I used parmesan)
+ 8 slices of bacon
+ 8 slices havarti cheese
+ 4 slices of tomato
+ 8 pieces of romaine lettuce

recipe
In a large bowl, combine the 4 cups of chicken, diced celery, tablespoon of celery leaves, 1/4 cup chopped almonds, and 1/4 cup chopped apricots. Toss to combine. Add the cup of mayonnaise, salt, and pepper and combine.

Lay two slices of bacon and two slices of havarti on each bagel. Top with 1/4 of the chicken salad. Top with one slice of tomato and two pieces of lettuce. Top with the other half of the bagel and serve.

serves 4

 

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