Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 25 August 2011 Contents WHAT'S COOKING
Page 12 | 25 August, 2011
I'm frequently asked what type of
cooking oil I use and why. At any one
time I have my three basics in the
pantry -- olive, rice bran and canola
oil -- but I often experiment with
other oils as well. For example, peanut oil provides a good background
flavour for certain Asian dishes.
Contributing both flavour and nutrition to dishes olive oil has, over a
period of five thousand years, shaped the cuisines of the Middle East,
Greece, Italy, southern France and Spain. It is high in monounsaturated
fatty acids that, unlike saturated fats, do not raise blood cholesterol
levels. High in vitamin E, olives also contain natural antioxidants
that are vital for the body's defences against disease and cancer.
Interestingly, the Spanish, Greeks and Italians have very low rates of
New Zealand produces cool weather oils that offer different qualities
than those found in Spanish or Italian varieties. Cool weather olive
oils are much sought after internationally and the quality of the New
Zealand product indicates that we have excellent prospects as one
of the world's leading boutique suppliers. I use imported olive oils for
cooking and local oils for dressings.
Rice bran oil is extracted from the storage layer between the husk and
the kernel of rice grains. Using a cold filtration process, high levels of
vitamin E are retained along with a unique plant sterol found only in
rice. Plant sterols help lower cholesterol and are thought to be a major
dietary factor in the prevention of heart disease. Rice bran oil has a very
high smoke point and very little flavour so it is ideal for use in a variety
of recipes. I like it for frying, but it can also be used in dressings and
The popularity of canola oil -- a contraction of the words Canadian and
oil and also known as rapeseed oil -- it has the distinction of containing
Omega-3 fatty acids, the wonder polyunsaturated fat reputed to not
only lower both cholesterol and triglycerides, but to contribute to brain
growth and development as well. Canola is an excellent, all-purpose oil.
The good oil
Dressing: ¼ cup canola oil
pinch chilli powder
1 clove garlic crushed
grated rind 1 kaffir lime or common
2-3 tablespoons lime juice
Salad: 425g can black beans,
drained and rinsed
1 medium red onion, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
4 button mushrooms, diced
1 small chilli, seeded and diced
¼ cup coriander leaves
Whisk the ingredients for the
dressing and set aside.
Combine the salad ingredients in
a bowl. Drizzle with the dressing
and gently toss to coat. Chill until
Best served at room temperature
garnished with extra coriander
Black bean salad with lime
8 pickling-sized onions
½ cup self-raising flour
salt and pepper to taste
½-¾ cup soda water
½-1 cup rice bran oil
Peel the onions and trim the
bases so they can sit upright.
Finely slice the onion in one
direction from the top almost to
the base. Turn the onions and
slice at right angles.
Gently force the onions open to
look like flowers.
Whisk the flour, seasonings and
enough soda water to make a thin
batter. Heat the oil in a wok or
small saucepan until a faint haze
rises. Dip 2 or 3 of the onions into
the batter, shaking off the excess.
Place in the oil -- base down -- and
deep-fry for 1 minute. Turn the
onions over and fry, until golden.
Remove and drain on paper
towels. Keep the onions warm
in a 150° oven. Repeat with the
remaining onions. Great served as
Chrysanthemum onions in soda-water batter
1 small smoked chicken
12 sheets filo pastry
¼-½ cup rice bran oil
6 tablespoons fruit chutney
6 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Lightly oil a baking tray.
Remove the meat from the
chicken and cut into serving-sized
Cut the brie into 6 portions.
Lightly oil a sheet of filo pastry.
Top with a second sheet.
Place a portion of chicken at one
end of the pastry.
Add a portion of brie and a
tablespoon of chutney.
Fold the side overs and roll up
from the end to enclose the filling.
Repeat with the remaining pastry
Place on the baking tray and
lightly brush each parcel with oil.
Sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until
Smoked chicken parcels
8 skinned and boned chicken
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon each: whole-grain
mustard, wine vinegar freshly
ground black pepper to taste
Hot Olive Dressing:
8 kalamata olives
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
finely grated rind and juice 2
6 sprigs thyme
If the chicken thighs are a little
uneven, butterfly the thick side so
they will cook more evenly.
Place in a shallow pan. Combine
the 2 tablespoons of olive oil,
mustard and vinegar. Pour over
the chicken and sprinkle with the
Ensure all sides are well coated
in the marinade. Cover and
refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Combine the ingredients for the
dressing in a saucepan. Heat on
low to allow the flavours to infuse.
Grill the chicken for about 4
minutes each side, until cooked.
Place the chicken in a serving
dish and top with the dressing.
Chicken with hot olive oil dressing
A great salad to serve as a light lunch.
Ideal for a dinner party, these parcels can be prepared ahead to the
cooking stage, covered with oiled film and refrigerated for up to 6
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