at home with James Martin - December 2012 - (Page 130)

OIL OR nothing You take it for granted, but oil is the cornerstone of your cooking, whether it’s olive, sesame or those in between C ooking with oil gets a bad press because some oils contain saturated fats – which, as we all know, can lead to health problems if you consume too much. But there are also lots of goodies in oils that are positively beneficial for you. Plus, let’s face it, cooking with some oil or fat is essential – and key to a tasty meal. OLIVE OIL The UK has fallen in love with olive oil. We now consume 30 million litres of it every year – more than double the amount we did 10 years ago. The three main suppliers of olive oil are Greece, Spain and Italy, producing between them over 75% of the world’s supply. The health benefits of olive oil have been widely reported, with new positive attributes discovered all the time. The bene ts: More than 75% of the fat in olive oil is monounsaturated – that’s the type that lowers LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol. Extra virgin olive oil is also packed with antioxidants called polyphenols, which may help to protect against heart disease, blood pressure, diabetes and certain cancers. How to use it: Normal olive oil is a good all-purpose cooking oil used for baking, shallow frying, dressings and marinades. There are hundreds of types, varying in colour, aroma and character. Oils from Spain tend to be sweet and fruity, with a nutty hint and a faint bitterness, and are quite versatile. Italian oils vary: the north produces oils that are excellent with fish, as they’re mild and slightly nutty; oils from the centre of the country have a stronger flavour; while oils from southern Italy have a more herby flavour. Greek olive oils are fruity, herby and sometimes peppery. Extra virgin olive oil (from the first pressing of the fruit, cold-pressed without any heat or processing) isn’t ideal for cooking as the heat impairs the taste and aroma – but it’s perfect for dressings, dips and drizzling. Virgin olive oil is also a first pressing, but it has a slightly higher acidity level. It should be used in much the same way as extra virgin olive oil, but can also be used in cooking, to create an authentic Mediterranean flavour. RAPESEED OIL Production of British rapeseed has risen from a few thousand tonnes in the 1970s to a couple of million tonnes today. This is partly due to prominent chefs, such as Raymond Blanc, who have been including it on their menus. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Ollie Dabbous have also extolled its virtues. The bene ts: The word is out and now we’re all after a bit of it – and no wonder, as rapeseed oil is packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, but with half the saturated fat of olive oil. In fact, at just 7%, it has the lowest saturated fat content of all oils. It’s also a useful source of the antioxidant vitamin E and, unlike many other oils, it also contains some omega-3 fats. How to use it: With little flavour and the ability to be heated to reasonably 130 | DECEMBER 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of at home with James Martin - December 2012

DIARY DATES
YOUR CHRISTMAS KITCHEN
UP THE ORANGE APPEEL
MEET MR MARTIN
THE CHEF DIARIES
FLAVOURS OF THE FUTURE
COOK LIKE A PRO
THE STAR EVENT
COOKING SOS
UNDER THE SEA
VEG OUT
JUST DESSERTS
WINE O’CLOCK
TASTEBUDS ON TEST
GUYS’ GIFT LIST
SANTA SPOILS FOR HER
FOR FOOD LOVERS
CHINESE, PLEASE?
THE ROAST WITH THE MOST
MARY CHRISTMAS
BAKE LIKE THE BEST
THE BIG CHEESE
FAT’S YOUR LOT
CLEAN UP
PINES AND NEEDLES
WINTER FOODIE BREAKS
ALL ABROAD
COFFEE BREAK
‘MY FOOD FANTASY TURNED INTO REALITY’
LAST WORD
EDITOR’S LETTER
FESTIVE WELCOME
NEWS AND VIEWS

at home with James Martin - December 2012

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