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Cooking With Olive Oil



Using olive oil to cook has numerous health benefits. Once you have cooked using olive oil you will never use anything else!

Extra virgin olive oil Olive is believed to reduce chances of contracting coronary heart disease, which is a severe medical condition. Coronary heart disease involves the narrowing of the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart. A diet that involved consuming extra virgin olive oil helps to lower cholesterol levels in a person significantly.


Health Benefits of Using Extra Virgin Olive Oil to Cook:
Compared to other oils like vegetable oil, corn oil, peanut oil, etc. extra virgin olive oil has the ability to reduce blood pressure. Research done on the use of olive oil for cooking revealed that blood pressure medication could be reduced to 50% of the normal dose in patients who used olive oil for cooking. Olive oil is known to consist of high quantities of mono-unsaturated fat and low quantities of saturated and polyunsaturated fat. This is the key reason olive oil helps lower cholesterol levels and is regarded as a healthy cooking oil.

LDL cholesterol is one of the major health concerns in recent times. LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is termed as the bad cholesterol. Gradual accumulation of this agent on the arteries causes severe heart disease. Using olive oil for cooking has also been found to be effective in countering the ill effects of this type of cholesterol.


Tips for Cooking with Olive Oil
Marinading fish, meat and poultry with olive oil adds a healthy and pleasant flavor to the food. Baking usually involves lots of fat. So instead of using butter in baking, you can use olive oil to reduce the quantity of fat. The amount of olive oil used should be about 25% less than the normal quantity of butter.

Foods like vinegar, wine, lemon juice, tomatoes, etc. have a high-acid content. Use of olive oil for cooking with such foods balances the acidity. It is a good practice to do a taste test before you decide on a recipe to be cooked with olive oil. Best results are obtained if you can pair up the taste of the oil with other ingredients in the recipe.

Olive oil can also be used for preparing appetizers. Broiled baguette slices can be rubbed with cut cloves or garlic and then drizzled with a few drops of olive oil. Prepare delicious dips by preparing a mix of white beans, garlic and olive oil in a food processor. You can also use your favorite herbs for seasoning.






Cooking With Olive Oil - Can Olive Oil Be Used For Stir-frying?

Of course! Cooking with extra olive oil, harvested from olive trees in Greece, can increase the health benefits of stir-frying. The United States Food and Drug Administration has announced that olive oil may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Like green tea, olive oil is thought to lower the level of LDL cholesterol, the “bad” cholesterol that can clog arteries. The FDA report states that only two tablespoons a day may be enough to lower cholesterol levels. This is because olive oil is high in monounsaturated fat, but low in saturated and polyunsaturated fat.




Use this chart to convert the quantity of butter called for in a recipe to the required quantity of olive oil.


Butter Olive Oil
1 teaspoon 3/4 teaspoon
2 teaspoons 1-1/2 teaspoons
1 tablespoon 2-1/4 teaspoons
2 tablespoons 1-1/2 tablespoons
1/4 cup 3 tablespoons
1/3 cup 1/4 cup
1/2 cup 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons
2/3 cup 1/2 cup
3/4 cup 1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon
1 cup 3/4 cup



Oven-Poached Fish in Olive Oil

yield: Makes 4 servings
active time: 15 minutes
total time: 1 1/2 hours



Preheat oven to 250°F.
Chop half of capers and pat fish dry. Sprinkle fish with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and let stand 10 minutes at room temperature. Arrange half of lemon slices in 1 layer in an 8-inch square glass baking dish and arrange fish in 1 layer over lemon. Top with all of capers, remaining lemon slices, and 3 tablespoons parsley, then pour oil over fish. Bake in middle of oven, uncovered, until fish just flakes and is cooked through, about 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
Serve fish with some of lemon slices, capers, and oil spooned over. Sprinkle with remaining tablespoon parsley.





Grilled Veal Chops and Zucchini with Rosemary Recipe

Boned veal chops are marinated in lemon oil, then skewered on rosemary sprigs and grilled with zucchini. Plan ahead for marination time, 3 hours or overnight. If you cannot use a grill, you can use your oven broiler or a very hot oven.
Prep Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

In a large shallow dish stir together 3 teaspoons of the zest, 2-1/2 teaspoons of the minced rosemary, the lemon juice, the olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste until the marinade is combined well. Wrap each tail flush against the loin portion of each veal chop and with a metal skewer pierce a hole through the tail and the loin portion. Sprinkle the tail of each veal chop with 1/4 teaspoon of the remaining zest, 1/8 teaspoon of the remaining minced rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste, wrap each tail flush against the loin portion, and skewer each veal chop through the pierced holes with a rosemary branch . Add the veal chops to the marinade and let them marinate, covered and chilled, turning them once and adding the zucchini to the marinade for the last hour, for at least 3 hours or overnight.


Grill the veal chops on a rack set about 6 inches over glowing coals for 7 minutes on each side for medium-rare meat. Grill the zucchini for 3 minutes on each side, or until it is just tender.

Yield: 4 servings

Source: Best of Gourmet - 1992 (Condé Nast)