Uses of Olive Oil in the Kitchen
Our kitchen can be the place where our creativity is triggered preparing and creating different dishes with a unique and special touch. We are lucky that it is the olive oil that accompanies, to a large extent, the dishes of our Mediterranean cuisine.
Before starting with the different uses of olive oil in the kitchen, we recommend that you go through this previous blog entry to differentiate the existing different types of olive oil.
Use of oil in raw oil, dressings and fried Foods
Although it is true that extra virgin olive oil is the best option in the kitchen, depending on each type of olive oil we can have different uses and thus enjoy our gastro-experience even more.
Although there is no specific rule on how to use each type of oil, each one of them plays the main role in each recipe due to its different organoleptic qualities.
The use of raw olive oil is indicated for early harvest olive oils; If they are of the picual variety, we will intensify the flavor of the food much more. The bitterness and itching of this type of oil and its excellent properties make it one of the most suitable to consume raw. We can use them to dress salads, accompany a toast, marinate and even preserve and emulsify different foods.
If we go for intense flavors, but softer, the best option would be the early harvest olive oil of the frantoio variety. With this type of oil we can make sauces such as mayonnaise, vinaigrette or aioli and add them to cold soups and other typical dishes of the Mediterranean diet, such as gazpacho.
Extra virgin olive oil is the king of the kitchen, since it is suitable for all uses: consumption raw, for cooking and even for frying. It pairs perfectly with any food: vegetables, meats, fish, vegetables ... For frying, unlike what is believed, extra virgin olive oil protects food very well, since it is the one that has the best resistance to high temperatures (begins to decompose from 180º) and the one that impregnates the least fat. In addition, the result is excellent: the food is crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside.
Other options of olive oil for frying can be virgin olive oil, with the same properties as extra virgin, but with a more moderate flavor; olive oil or even olive-pomace oil.
Reuse of oil and mixtures
Here is one of the biggest questions in the kitchen: Can I reuse olive oil? The answer is yes, although with nuances.
Extra virgin olive oil is the one with the longest shelf life and can be reused several times, as long as it is to be reused with similar foods. Of medium use, an extra virgin olive oil can be reused about five times for frying.
Another issue is mixing different types of oil. In the market, we find a blend of olive oils, which are nothing more than the combination of different varieties of olives that give rise to an oil with a unique flavor. If we want to mix oils in the same dish, it is better not to do it. What we can do (and we must do) is to prepare different dishes from a menu with oils of different varieties to enjoy such exquisite flavors and experiences on the palate.
The most important thing is to know how to preserve extra virgin olive oil. We must store our liquid gold in a cool and dry place, away from light and in completely opaque containers/ cartons. In this way, we are able to delay its oxidation.
Olive oil is a food that has a long shelf life and its best before date can vary up to two years. However, we must keep our olive oils in the best conditions in order to continue enjoying them with their unaltered properties.
Here are a few tips to get the most out of olive oils:
- If you are going to fry with any type of olive oil, do not let it start to smoke during the preheating, before adding the food.
- If you are going to reuse the oil after having used it for frying, better filter it before storing it. In this way, you will be able to eliminate toxins that have been decomposed.
- Use extra virgin olive oil as a preservative, since it is capable of creating a protective film and prevents oxygen from deteriorating food. Use it with canned sauces, such as fried tomato, or in cheeses.