Sunday, September 28, 2014

DIY -- Basic Cooking VI Frying

It's been six months since my last basic cooking post, and sometime before that I mentioned frying.
When you fry food, one thing is crucial.
You have to get the oil very hot.
You have to get it to at least 300 degrees, and 365 is better.
What people don't realize is that to do that, you have to use vegetable oil.
Not olive oil.
Not canola oil.
If you try to heat olive or canola oil hot enough for frying, it will start to smoke long before it gets to the right temperature.
It has to do with chemistry.
Now some of you are saying, I thought high temperatures created trans fats in fried food.
Absolutely correct.
That's why you shouldn't eat much fried food.
Use olive or canola oil to sauté and caramelize vegetables but NOT to fry.

The second clue is only fry small pieces of food. 
Frying a whole turkey is a recipe for a heart attack.
The reason you need small pieces is so they cook fast.
The shorter a time they're in the oil, the less they soak up and the less transfats you get.

And unfortunately, if you fry breaded things, the breading soaks up tons of oil.
So chicken nuggets, batter dipped fish, even fried green tomatoes are things you should have maybe once a month.

Next time you make French fries, use vegetable oil, get it boiling hot, cut your potatoes no more than one quarter inch thick, and pull them out as soon as they get brown.

And then wait at least two weeks before making French fries again.
Maybe you thought you would get a pass on frying if you DIY'd,
but I can't do that because it's not good for you.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

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