The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #165215   Message #4001423
Posted By: Steve Shaw
21-Jul-19 - 12:06 PM
Thread Name: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
Funny you should say that about olive oil. In this weekend's Guardian Rachel Roddy, one of my very favourite writers on Italian food, blows the myth that you shouldn't cook with olive oil right out of the water (sorry, Maggie!). For years now I've kept two types of extra virgin olive oil in the house, one of them usually the bog-standard Napolina/Berio type and the other a superior Tuscan oil. The first is used for most of my cooking and the second for salad dressings and sprinkling on pizza or pasta dishes at the end. Only ever extra virgin. I won't use the over-refined non-virgin stuff. The only rule is to avoid letting the oil smoke, so stand with it and go gently. If I need really hot oil, say for frying a steak or for making my oven chips, I use groundnut oil, which has a high smoke point and a neutral flavour. Eggs and salmon are fried only in butter in my house. That's about the extent of my frying armoury. If I'm making a soffritto or if I'm sautéing sliced garlic and dried chilli flakes at the start of making a pasta sauce, for arrabbiata for example, a good trick is to put the garlic and chilli flakes, or the chopped veg, into the pan of cold oil. You can do that hours in advance if you stir it around a bit. We purists who make life tough by refusing to mince garlic save time later by doing that. Usually, you can then make your sauce in the time it takes to get the pasta al dente. An unspoken rule of Italian cooking in any case is to never leave the kitchen while the pasta is boiling. And always save a bit of pasta water when you drain, in case the sauce needs loosening.