Saturday, February 19, 2011

Kitchen Must Haves A Few Days Late

Originally I was in a dream world that included me blogging on Thursday. However the procedure I had on Tuesday had different ideas. Wisdom Teeth removal is not fun however after a follow up visit with the dentist yesterday, and a quick idea on how to correct a painful situation I am close to on top of the world this morning.

So wait no must haves is on the topic of oils:) I know everyone is excited. But I know from experience there are a lot of oil out there derived from different things and they really all do hold unique purpose and ability.

I am going to cover four today, however I would be more than happy to answer questions on any oil..just let me know.

First up Olive Oil.

Now there are many types of olive oil - Virgin, Extra Virgin,Pure, Pomace, and a few others. If you see the word virgin in association with olive oil it just simply means there were no chemicals used in the making or extraction of the oil from the olives. Pure Olive oil is a bit more misleading, it is usually a blend of chemically treated olive oil and virgin olive oil. They chemically treat t to give the olive oil a more neutral flavor. Olive Oil with the word Pomace associated with it is oil that has been extracted from the solid parts of the olive, normally they balance it with some virgin olive oil.

I know this is very exciting already but now I am going to tell you what and what not to use olive oil for. Please use olive oil in salad dressings, sauces, soups, and the like. you may also use it in sauteing.....not frying. The temperature should never be high when using olive oil because olive oil burns and can put off a rancid taste. However this being said if you want to use olive oil at a higher heat a Pomace based olive works wonders.

Dates do matter on most oils, they can go rancid. Best to store oils in darker glass bottles in a dark cupboard or space. Light and heat will make your oils spoil faster.

Vegetable Oil is second on our list.

Vegetable oil comes from plants. Being that vegetable oil is flavorless it is perfect to be used in baking. Most recipes for cupcakes or cakes or even some cookies, quick breads and the like call for vegetable oil for this exact reason. It does not provide some of the same health benefits as olive oil or the others, but it stills serve a purpose. so when a recipe calls for it specifically use it unless you don't mind the flavor of olive oil in your baked goods, which there are plenty of recipes for. Vegetable oil can also be used for frying because it can withstand high heat. I keep it on hand it gets used often.

Vegetable oil has been getting a bad wrap for ages....just don't bathe in it or drink you will be fine:)

Peanut Oil is the last oil up to bat . I actually use Peanut Oil for frying because it gives off a nutty flavor and I think it also make things a bit crunchier when frying. You do however need to be careful if using this and you are not aware of any of your dinner guests possible foo allergies. They say people with nut allergies are usually not affected by peanut oil unless its cold pressed oil...which who really wants to find out if its cold pressed or not, so my advice is to avoid if you know someone with peanut allergies. SO make some french fries and enjoy:)

Lastly my friend Sesame Oil. YUM!

Although Sesame Oil is most often used in Asian dishes, I do not like to classify ingredients like that so much, so I say you never know until you try. I use Sesame Oil to saute, in marinades, in sauces, for can pretty much use it for anything and the flavor is amazing. If you are going to use it to fry use a light Sesame Oil, because it has a higher smoking point then the dark. However I find the dark much more flavorful, so I keep both on hand. A stir fry dish is best place to use this for the first time.

And lastly the secret weapon....Bacon Fat. One last little tip when searing meat I use bacon fat that I have reserved from the breakfast menu on many occasions. It doesn't take much and it will kick up the flavor ten fold. You can keep it in a plastic lidded container in the fridge and it keeps for quite awhile. Its a kitchen trick when you go to a restaurant and order a large piece of meat this is no doubt what they use to give it the flavor. They even will use it in chicken dishes.

Hope this was helpful. Thanks Lea for the idea and the delicious bottle of olive oil.

Next week we are going to have a give away attached to the kitchen must have, so check back to find out how to participate.


Julie said...

I often use melted butter in place of vegetable oil in baked goods. I like that. I don't know why, but I do. ;)

dee said...

I love this Jessica! I hope you are planning on making "kitchen haves" a regular feature. I have always wondered what the difference is between virgin and extra virgin olive oil is? Can you help me out with this one?
I have used peanut oil but never sesame oil, I'm going to try it.
And, my mother-in-law would love you for your bacon fat secret weapon. She is a big believer in bacon fat and although it totally grosses me out, I think I might save it the next time and try it out next time I need to sear a roast.