Thursday, April 23, 2009


Oil is another staple that should be in any kitchen. There are a wide range of types and flavors of oils, each having its own purpose.

The most general is olive oil, this I use most. Not only is it healthy, it also tastes great. I tend to have three varieties; pure, the cheapest, for cooking with, virgin, for some dressings where the oil is not the main flavor, and extra virgin for salads or finishing.

It is best not to cook with extra virgin as it has a low smoke point, the temperature at which it will burn. Save the EVOO for dressings or drizzling on top, where the flavor can shine through.

When frying it is best to use peanut or canola oil as they have much higher smoke points and won't burn food.

I also have several flavored oils; chili, lemon and truffle. I make my own dipping oil by adding Italian herbs and garlic to EVOO. This is great with a little parm to dip bread in.

I have oils from several different countries; Spain, France, Italy and Greece. I use these when I make dishes from these countries. In the same way that wines are best served with the food from the country of origin, oils are the same way.

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