Posts Tagged With: rapeseed

Cooking With Rapeseed Oil

  Rapeseed Oil – Seriously Healthy!

Ever since I took an active interest in cooking as a serious hobby, I have trained myself to believe that extra virgin olive oil is simply the best thing to cook with. After all, a recent study showed that a diet of nuts and olive oil can help prevent dementia in older age, and I’ve never met an elderly person while visiting the Mediterranean that didn’t swear by the stuff. However, while this is all well and good, and while olive oil is indeed healthy for the mind and delicious when used as a salad dressing, when it comes to hardcore cooking as a whole, it could be doing us more harm than good.

While sunflower oil and vegetable oil were once pushed aside for healthier olive oil, these days, it is more common to find heath practitioners and dieticians pushing something called rapeseed oil. Rapeseed oil is made from those bright yellow flowers that you see gracing fields in the British countryside every summer. Originally grown to provide lubricants for steam engines, the rapeseed flower was eventually altered to include varieties that contained less glucosinolates (that’s the thing responsible for that bitter taste in brussel sprouts), which was the reason it wasn’t first grown for human consumption.

These days the flower makes an oil which is much more palatable than its predecessor and one which is jam packed full of health benefits. It has a much higher smoke point than olive oil, making it far more suitable for roasting and frying. Not only that, but it can pump you full of some serious vitamins AND help to lower your cholesterol!

Some of the benefits of rapeseed oil are:

  • It contains the lowest saturated fat content of any oil – less than half that of Olive Oil.
  • It has 10 times more Omega 3 than Olive Oil.
  • It is a great source of Vitamin E.
  • It is high in monounsaturated fats.
  • It contains no artificial preservatives and is trans-fat and GM free.
  • It is suitable for a variety of diets – vegetarian, gluten-free, Kosher and Halal.
  • It is safe to cook at high temperatures with a burning point of 230c much higher than Olive Oil.

Since starting to use it about 10 months ago, I have seen a significant drop in my cholesterol level and have felt the benefit of the added Omega 3 several times over.

The price of rapeseed oil is significantly lower than that of olive oil as well, which just adds to its value. You can pick up a litre bottle in Aldi for £1.99 or a bigger bottle in Morrisons for the same price.

Next time you are buying oil at the supermarket, stop and think, can you afford NOT to try this great new alternative?

Categories: Quick post! | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Oven Baked Mixed Potato Fries

Mixed Potato Fries

Mixed Potato Fries, perfect with BBQ!

We threw out our chip pan years ago, it was doing us no good at all and one day we went to a restaurant in Caernarfon called the Black Buoy where they serve the most amazing tasting chips. I spent ages trying to figure out what it was that made them taste so good until I realised that it wasn’t the potato or the way it was cooked, but rather the OIL it was cooked IN.  Turns out that frying chips in rapeseed oil is not only better for you health-wise but it makes them taste amazing too and I recommend that you try it immediately!

Of course, deep frying in rapeseed oil is a pretty costly way to cook chips, so, I came up with a great, simple way to make great tasting chips that have a lovely flavour and go well with almost anything! I don’t fry my chips, I bake them in the oven!

The thing about my fries is that I don’t just use white potato, I also use sweet potato, the two combined make for a great taste experience and together with the olive oil and my special seasoning are a great overall side dish for any BBQ, I always make them with my Honey Jack BBQ Pulled Pork as well as my Lime and Coriander Peri Peri Chicken and they go really well with a side of Homemade ‘Slaw.

This recipe makes enough for 2-3 people but if you want to feed more then simply make more! Also, if you like a heat kick, pop 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper into the seasoning mix. Avoid using fresh garlic over the garlic powder as fresh garlic (though it may well sound more appealing) actually burns in this hot of an oven and tastes bitter and horrible whereas the powder survives the heat and tastes great.

INGREDIENTS

THE FRIES

  • 2 large sweet potatoes (about the size of both of your fists together)
  • 2 large white potatoes (Maris Piper are my preference, again, the size of two fists)

THE SEASONING

  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons rapeseed oil

METHOD

  1. Begin by preheating your oven to a massively hot 230C/210C Fan/Gas Mark 8.
  2. Wash your potatoes and peel them if you wish (I don’t bother, the skins add flavour and texture and they contain most of the nutritional value of the potato), then cut the edges of of them until they resemble a rough square or rectangular block.  If you don’t do this then you will end up with horrible skinny brunt edge fries which do not taste good!
  3. Slice the blocks of potato into fries that are just over 1.5cm in thickness, then pop them in a colander and drain them for a few minutes.
  4. While the fries are drying off a little after rinsing, mix your spices together in a bowl, you can experiment with your spices by all means, but I love this particular mix, the five spice really does something special to the sweet potatoes in particular!
  5. Spread your fries over a couple of large baking trays or roasting tines, don’t crowd them or overlap them, if you do this you will end up with soggy fries, they need room to breath in the oven so if you on’y have 1 tray or tin, do the fries in 2 batches.
  6. Sprinkle the seasoning and oil over the fries then pop them into the oven for 15 minutes.
  7. After 15 minutes, take the trays out of the oven and give them a shake, loosen the fries from the bottom of the tray and turn them over with a fish slice. Then pop them in the oven once again for a further 15 minutes.
  8. When the buzzer goes, take the fries out of the oven, place them on some kitchen towel for a few moments to get rid of any excess oil (of which there should be none really if you have done everything correctly), then mix them together in a serving bowl and serve with a nice dip or sauce.
Categories: Hot Sides, Side Dishes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.