Thu, May 5 2011
Olive oil is a funny thing! We all know that it is good for us, lower in saturated fats and all that. But it seems to have got out of control and a bit centre of attention showing off in dishes where it really should not be! Recipe writers plonking it in a curry say. Well it's not the right flavour so just does not sit right.
With all the chefs using olive oil and the nation being told that extra virgin is much better for us, people - and chefs - are using it for what seems like everything. Even down to frying eggs! But extra virgin has such a strong flavour it truly overpowers things. It holds all the health benefits we are being told about but other oils can show interest in cooking too!
Take mayonnaise for example. Make it with extra virgin and the result will be an over-powering, oddly coloured concoction that wants to be the fore front in the taste stakes leaving behind the crab, lobster or egg you are pairing it with. Try making it with 3/4's ground nut and top up with olive. Do your dressing in the same way. Take a jar, place 2 heaped teaspoons of dijon in it. Add the juice of half a lemon, a good splash of water, sea salt and black pepper and then about 150ml of oil other than extra virgin. Mix blended olive with groundnut or rapeseed, say. Shake well. Oh! What is that I can taste? Is it my tasty lambs lettuce salad?!!
Stir it through pasta at the last moment, dip crusty bread into it, drizzle it over buffalo mozarella, but please give up cooking your curry or beef stew in it!