2/4/08

Where’s the Oil..?

No international intrigue here folks! Let’s concentrate on the kitchen.

More specifically the oils in your kitchen.

This will be the Connoisseur’s quick guide to the various oils that should be stocked, ready for use in that gourmet kitchen of yours.

Let’s start with the basic frying oil – the all purpose Swiss army knife oil for your kitchen. This should be either a canola, corn or vegetable oil.

A couple of notes on these “basic” oils: The canola has the lowest level of bad or saturated fat. The drawback with canola is that it has the lowest smoke point of the three, meaning it burns at a lower temperature. Both corn and vegetable oil have higher smoke points, with vegetable having the milder flavor of the two.

The second oil to stock the pantry with is olive oil. Of all the oils this is highest in the monounsaturated or good fat. The connoisseur actually recommends keeping two separate olive oils on hand. A low cost bulk oil for sautéing, and a higher quality brand for dressings and dish finishing where you will take advantage of the quality flavors.

The next two recommended oils are a bit more in the optional category. First is a light or dark toasted sesame oil for flavoring or marinades. The dark oil having the stronger flavor. The final oil recommendation is a nut oil such as walnut or almond. These make wonderfully rich salad dressings and are also great for pastas or fish.

Now you are an oil baron! A high stakes roller in the world of liquid gold.

Oh, I almost forgot. STORAGE..!

Store these oils in a dark cool pantry and not on the counter by the stove. They can turn a bit rancid over a period of time. Also the nut oils should be stored in the refrigerator and then brought to room temperature before use.

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