High heat oil
I use safflower oil or sunflower oil for high heat frying or medium heat sautee. The temperature rating for both is high heat. Safflower oil is inexpensive and is neutral tasting and neutral odor. I never use Canola oil because it has a fishy odor and can leave that fishy taste in food. Because Safflower oil is a high heat oil I end up using it most on high heat cooking in iron pans but it can also be used in low heat applications.
I haven't looked up the current numbers, but when I was learning to cook, peanut oil was touted as having the highest smoke point. Useful if the flame gets away from you on a gas stove and you turn it down just a smidge too late.
My favorite brand of sunflower oil stopped being made
about three or four years ago, and the available sizes/brands are muy caro
, so safflower it has been ever since, if I don't put olive oil into the pan.
webmaster wrote:Low heat oil
Olive oil is a low heat oil and I rarely use it except when the taste of the olive oil is somewhat essential to the taste of the dish. Olive oil is good for cooking garlic to a golden color. It can be useful for quickly sauteeing shrimp at a medium to medium low heat. I also use olive oil as a replacement for butter. Olive oil can always be substituted for butter and if you care about your health then that is what you should do. More on that below. I rarely ever use olive oil. Because this is low to medium low heat cooking, if I use olive oil I am pretty much always using it in stainless steel.
When DH was diagnosed w/diabetes Type 2 in 2004, I went to his classes with him and was ready to turn the whole kitchen inside-out to comply with the requirements of a diabetic-friendly way of cooking. I've had a weight problem ever since the car accident in 1995, so this looked like a good idea in general. However... DH kept eating ice cream, bringing it into the house, doing other food things that were not diabetic friendly. There's only so much one can take, and after X years with this guy, I said to myself, "The he** with it ["heck" of course
]--I'll do the easy stuff."
So my go-to sautÃƒÂ© oil is olive oil. I use a lower flame than I did when learning to cook and am trying to retrain DH to start with a "not full blast" flame when he's at the stove and I'm doing the prep. We also use olive oil as-is in salads or other low-temp uses. It's a staple in our kitchen.
webmaster wrote:Oil for taste
I have recently discovered sesame seed oil for vegetables. It can be brushed on to broccolli or other vegetable and roasted in an oven at 375 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. Or you can splash a teaspoon to a tablespoon at the end of a sautee, for example green beans, immediately followed by a dash of soy sauce, no more than 1/3 to a 1/2 of a cap, the soy sauce bottle cap. This can work on either stainless steel or cast iron cooking.
No argument there: sesame oil is Food of the Gods. Ah....
webmaster wrote:Butter is unhealthy and overpowers food
Butter is worse than cigarettes. Eating butter on a daily basis will very likely kill you faster than smoking cigarettes. Every stick of butter should come with a Surgeon General's Warning on the label. Butter is truly evil.
There is no need to ever cook with butter. Butter is unhealthy. Butter masks the taste of food. Butter overwhelms the taste of food and the herbs used in recipes. Practice using vegetable oils and you'll find that food tastes better because they combine well to bring out the taste of the vegetables and whatever herbs you are using.
The Julia Child/French method of cooking that relies on butter is a lazy way of cooking. It rings the fat bells in your brain the way MSG rings bells in your taste buds. It's a cheap shortcut to toss a large amount of MSG, sugar, salt or butter into food. It takes more skill to expertly use temperature, method, herbs, a sensible amount of salt and the taste qualities of the food itself to create a rich and tasty dish.
And here I will call Bull...feathers!
Sorry, but that's the way it is: cigarettes are an evil unto themselves and deserve an entire discussion. Both of my parents smoked the entire time I grew up, poisoning all of us, so I know way too much about second-hand smoke. Oh, yes: it's another major migraine trigger.
OTOH, I learned to cook from the man I lived with in college. I didn't know how to cook before living with him. While living with him, I began to track my migraines and food intake within 24 hours prior to a migraine ("triggers" were unknown then). This of course led me to greater awareness about the ingredients of my food long before the locavore/know your farmer movement of today. It turned out that margarine had more chemicals, artificial cr*p, and inedible junk than absolutely anything else in our kitchen did, so we changed to actual, honest-to-God butter.
No food coloring, no added thickeners, no added anything. In fact, not even added salt! if one read the labels carefully.
As with anything in life, the key to using butter
is to use it in moderation, preferably as little as you can get away with. SautÃƒÂ© with oil for most days of the week, but when you're making toast--use a thin application of butter
. After not using it every time you turn around, that very small amount will taste fantastic!
Making baked chicken with potatoes? ==> Put cottage cheese or maybe some regular cheese and steamed broccoli into those baked potatoes. Save the butter
for, oh, baking brownies or peanut butter cookies.
There are many applications where the gluten-shortening properties of butter
equally replicated by oil, esp. in baking. The moisture content of peanut butter cookies or brownies, to say nothing of the taste, will be very different with oil vs. butter
. Perhaps a pain de la terre
(country bread) with a hard crust will still work with oil substituted for butter
in the dough, but for most home-baked slicing/sandwich breads, butter
is needed to keep the gluten strands from completely taking over. (I've found that up to 1 Tb of butter
, much less
than usually recommended, is needed for a two-loaf bread recipe.)
But for your own health and happiness, try cutting the butter
down across the board (salt, too--sodium was and is a major migraine trigger for me). It may mean writing in a cookbook or on a printout the date and the amount of which ingredient you used and the result achieved, but in the end you'll have a more healthful product that the people you cook for like to eat.
Other than my weight, I'll put my lab numbers up against anyone else's any day. As of April 2012, Blood pressure, avg. 107/70 (well, maybe not when writing posts like this one!
). Cholesterol somewhere around 165, HDL:LDL ratio "good," according to my doctor. Blood glucose (fasting), approx. 92. Perhaps not perfect, but very good:
--I am not a vegetarian
--I do use *gasp!* butter
in my baking; sometimes in my cooking
--I eat cheese. Oh, he**: I LOVE CHEESE.
--and milk. and yogurt. and cottage cheese.
--and veggies. and fruit. and more fruit. and yet more fruit.
Oh, and about that Teflon...DH insists on using a Teflon pan when he cooks.
We have an incredible collection of enameled cast-iron, some Creuset and some Hoan (same kind of product), and some stainless-steel cook pans. But no, he'd rather off-gas
all kinds of junk into the air.
I've suggested many times that he simply "season" one of our enameled cast-iron pans so that it becomes, effectively, a non-stick pan, like many woks become after being used for a while. But noooooo....
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9