Let’s talk about oils for a minute – something I hear all the time is… “so I get my Olive oil and….” It seems as though Rachel Ray and her catch phrase EVOO has convinced the world that’s the only oil to use, which is bullshit. Here’s my take on it, when you go to the store and you’re standing in front of the 7 foot high olive oil section think about this: everything in the middle section often moderately priced – don’t waste your time or money. Use the cheap stuff at the bottom to cook with and the expensive stuff at the top for dressings & garnish. My favorite Olive oil comes out of Nor-Cal, called Barinni – you used to only be able to get it at the SF farmers market but much to my delight those of you in Phoenix can now get this fantastic product at AJ’s! Here’s the theory: olive oil has a really low smoke-point, and when it’s heated up it develops at weird twangy flavor. So if you are going to cook w/ olive oil, don’t get it very hot. Alternatively I use grape seed oil, that stuff’s awesome! It has a totally neutral flavor and you can get it screaming hot before it begins to smoke. This makes it perfect for searing fish & other proteins on the stove-top. I use this oil for pretty much all cooking on the stove-top. For those of you in Texas, Central Market carries a grape seed oil that comes in a glass quart bottle. I can’t remember the name but they always have a huge display of it and it’s great! For the rest of us outside the Lone Star state, buy whatever you can find – it’s worth it!
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