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gardenlad

LOOKING for: Culinary Oils Discussion

gardenlad
16 years ago

As often happens, a thread takes on a life of its own. Sometimes the hijacked portion is more interesting than the original topic.

So it went on my lamb chop thread, which has evolved into a discussion about culinary oils. I figured others might be interested in taking part, so am transfering it here.

Posted by gardenlad (My Page) on Mon, Jul 17, 06 at 13:10

>Hazelnut oil? Is that a question, Jess? :>)

Assuming so, it's just one of several nut oils that are now on the market. Most chefs who use them opt for the walnut oil, but I think it has a bitter undertone. The hazelnut oil is more mellow, IMO, and non-bitter. All in all, a much better flavor.

Of course I used my cast iron for this. How else?


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Posted by jessyf (My Page) on Mon, Jul 17, 06 at 19:11

Yup, that was a question. What else do you use it for? I woulda thunk just salad dressing. It would be nice drizzled on avocado. Too bad I don't own one of those avocado slicers, LOL. Hmmm. Does Trader Joes carry hazelnut oil...

Hey, I didn't want to 'assume' you used your cast iron. We all know about that word! FWIW, I pretty much (gas) grill all my meats; haven't gotten around/considered pan frying them. Its too durn hot these days to pull out my new cast iron baby.


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Posted by gardenlad (My Page) on Mon, Jul 17, 06 at 20:49

When I grill it's over charcoal or wood coals. It was just too hot to fuss around that way. In the 90s again, today, with humidity about the same. So I'd druther stay indoors in the A/C.

The hazelnut oil does work great in salad dressings. Or as a last minute addition to stir fries and other cooked foods---the way you'd use, say, sesame oil.

I filmed the skillet with it before searing the chops just to see what would happen.


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Posted by jessyf (My Page) on Mon, Jul 17, 06 at 21:51

OK, thanks, I'll keep my eye out for it in the stores.

oh goodie one more thing to clutter up my frige


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Posted by potpie (My Page) on Mon, Jul 17, 06 at 23:40

I love both hazelnut and walnut oil. I like using grapeseed oil in salads too. VERY healthy stuff.


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Posted by gardenlad (My Page) on Tue, Jul 18, 06 at 6:20

I have no idea if they're healthy or not, Potpie. I rarely pay attention to those things, because the nutritional "experts" change their minds seemingly by the hour.

But each of those oils does bring its own flavor to the table, and that's what I'm concerned with.

Jessy: do you really keep your oils in the fridge? Why?


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Posted by jessyf (My Page) on Tue, Jul 18, 06 at 12:36

GL, some I keep in the fridge to keep from going rancid, some I don't. Do: cooking veggie oil (I have canola - I find that peanut and olive just congeal), toasted sesame oil, all my Boyajian oils. Don't: olive oil. I guess I keep the 'delicates' in the fridge. I have room. There must be a science to which oils go rancid; I'd have to look it up. Where is Shirley Corriher when ya need her...


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Posted by gardenlad (My Page) on Tue, Jul 18, 06 at 13:46

I know that vegetable oils can, theoretically, turn rancid. But I've never had it happen.

I keep all my vegetable oils in a cabinet. That would include peanut and safflower; sesame; olive; the nut oils; and things like Mongollian fire oil. And, of course, the shortenings, which, lately, includes Palm Oil Shortening.

Tropical oils are said to turn rancid more quickly than others. But they (the ubiquitous "they") say nut oils turn quickly, too. I don't know how fast "quickly" is, but my Hazelnut oil has been around several months with no problem.

I don't use Canola oil anymore. Virtually the entire commercial rapeseed crop is genetically modified, and I won't knowingly use any frankenfood. When I was using it, however, it did not get refrigerated.

I do refrigerate animal fats: Butter, lard, bacon drippings.

Who is Shirley Corriher?


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Posted by jessyf (My Page) on Tue, Jul 18, 06 at 15:14

I first heard of Ms. Corriher through articles in Cook's Illustrated. Then I saw that Alton Brown had her on his show a couple of times. She is a food scientist - one of many, I'm sure, but I like her style.

I know some people store butter outside their fridge.

OOohhh I started reading about GMO Canola. Scary! Next search will be 'non-gmo canola'.

"Knock knock..."

"Who's there?"

"Canola..."

"Canola who?"

"Canola you scientists please explain what's so good about eating oil from the genetically altered rapeseed plant?"

Here is a link that might be useful: Shirley Corriher - Wikipedia

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Posted by gardenlad (My Page) on Tue, Jul 18, 06 at 16:51

I have friends who also keep butter unrefrigerated. I think that you can get away with this using salted butter. But we don't. Only sweet butter. And I'd be concerned about leaving that unrefrigerated for more than a few hours.

Same with lard. If it's salted you probably can leave it out safely for quite some time. But I make my own, and it is not salted. Most stays in the freezer, with a using-supply in the fridge.

And, by the same token, every hunting and fishing camp in North America has a coffee can full of bacon grease under the sink. And they use it unreservedly the two or three times a year they're up there. Go figure!

Thanks for the info on Shirley Corriher.


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Posted by potpie (My Page) on Wed, Jul 19, 06 at 1:24

Grape Seed Oil - NOT Rapeseed Oil, that is the root of Canola Oil.

Grape seed oil is extracted from grape seeds and has a relatively high smoke point, approximately 420 F (216 °C), so it can be safely used to cook at high temperatures. Grape seed oil can be used for stir-fries, sautéing and fondue. In addition to its high smoking point, grape seed oil has other positive attributes in relation to cooking. It has a clean, light taste that has been described as 'nutty'. Because of its 'neutral' taste, grape seed oil is often used as an ingredient in salad dressings or as a base for infusing or flavoring with garlic, rosemary, or other herbs or spices. It is also used as an ingredient in homemade mayonnaise. One is able to use less grape seed oil for precisely the same reasons that the cosmetics industry likes it, the emollient and film-forming virtues.

The metabolic energy density of grape seed oil is comparable to that of other oils, about 120 kcal per tablespoon (34 kJ/ml). However, the fact that less oil is needed for cooking may be useful when observing a low-fat diet. One should remember, though, that when using proper frying techniques (using enough oil, not overcrowding the pan, having the oil at the correct temperature), very little oil is absorbed.

And, since it is gaining popularity, it is now possible to buy varietal oils. Like "Reisling" Grapeseed oil for example.

I have been using it for twenty years and like it much more than other oils.

Canola never made it in my book.


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Posted by potpie (My Page) on Wed, Jul 19, 06 at 1:26

Oh, and Grape Seed Oil is loaded with antioxidants.


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Posted by gardenlad (My Page) on Wed, Jul 19, 06 at 7:56

I know you had said grapeseed, Potpie. I was responding not to your post, but to Jessy's. And, judging by what I read at various cooking sites, most home-cooks are not aware that rape is genetically modified. So maybe it's time we all sound a warning?

My attitude is that if somebody _knows_ a particular food is modified, and chooses to use it anyway, that's their business. But they should be aware so as to make an informed decision.

I've used grapeseed oil in the past, and found it to be everything you say. But, around here at least, it is significantly more expensive than the others. So I reserved it for salad dressings. And once it was gone I never replaced it.


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Posted by jessyf (My Page) on Thu, Jul 20, 06 at 1:08

Potpie - I missed 'grapeseed' in your initial post. I actually think Trader Joe's sells that and I'll check it out. However, I think (emphasize think) that 'rapeseed' and 'grapeseed' are different plants...and 'canola', from rapeseed, is an acronym for 'CANadian' 'L'ow 'O'leic 'A'cid.

Someone want to start another thread? I think this is good info to share and I'd like to see it not get lost on a hijacked topic. Not that I have any problems with hijacking!

Here is a link that might be useful: Canola on Wikipedia

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Posted by gardenlad (My Page) on Thu, Jul 20, 06 at 7:30

I've been thinking the same thing, Jessy. And I'm going to try transfering the oils part of this to a new thread. Maybe I can get it to work.

Yes, rape and grape are different things. And I believe Potpie knows that. Reread her post, and you'll see the ambiguity that leads you to think differently. At first I thought the same thing; but then realized she was saying rape was the source of Canola.

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