7:10 AM

Fat, Fat and more Fat

Posted by Nicole |

I have been stockpiling the fats lately! I didn't mean to really, I just kept seeing things I thought would be good to have on hand. It started with the coconut oil that I ordered online. I bought a gallon size tub a few months ago and it was a great purchase. I use it in cooking, baking, smoothies, chocolate and cosmetics.

I have always been a butter is better gal, so I am still purchasing butter, however when we eat it on breads I am buying a better quality (more expensive but more nutritious) kind than when I bake or cook with it. I have to make some compromises for budgets sake. Then the other day while shopping for Indian grocery items, Heather and I found a good deal on ghee - three and a half pounds of it! The wonderful thing about ghee is that it lasts a long time and can withstand higher heat while cooking without burning as butter would. I use that when sauteeing, and making Indian food (yum, more recipes to come!).

A week or two later, while at the farmer's market in our area, I found a local source for leaf lard - or pig fat. Even though there are some who don't think pork is a healthy meat, most agree that pork fat is a good fat for cooking and baking. I know my mom made the best pie crust with lard! Unfortunatley the lard you can buy in the stores is shelf stable and has been hydrogenated - boo! So I bought some leaf lard and rendered it myself last week. Really, the whole process was very easy, my only complaint is that I should have bought more lard as the yeild is about 70% and that didn't mean much for me. Here is a good resource on rendering lard. I hope I have enough to make some refried beans and a nice crust for strawberry rhubarb pie!

I have always had olive oil on hand for salad dressings and some cooking so that is still always on my counter.

I thought I had all the bases coverd! Well this weekend my husband came home from a fishing trip with lovely fresh, white fleshed deep sea fish - the kind perfect for fish and chips! The question was, what to fry the battered fish in. I was at our local grocery store, scouring the oil aisle - there are many options yet few. It is vegetable oil, canola oil, corn oil and a few miscelaneous ones out there. Previously I had used peanut oil for frying which I quite like and had there been a medium sized bottle I may have gone with that. But instead I settled on a good brand of safflower oil. It is rated for high heat cooking, perfect for frying and it was expeller pressed so it seemed a good option. After a little research it seems safflower oil is still not recommended by the Weston A. Price foundation. 'A' for effort, but 'F' for research before I left the house!

So what then should I have used? I suppose beef drippings would have been ideal - I didn't have any on hand...

Do any of you fry and if so what oil/fat do you use?

7 comments:

Hanna said...

I have been wondering this too! I was a canola oil fryer which is apparently deeeath. Maybe I will try to get some beef fat next time my parents butcher.

Nicole said...

I asked at the meat department for some beef fat and was told they don't sell any and they can't give away any from the back that they discard. I suppose right from the source is the way to go! Duck or goose fat is highly prized in the chef world.

Kathleen said...

Have you checked out red palm oil? It has a higher flash point than other oils, including coconut oil. The only downside is that it stains the food (and sometimes your hands or clothes if it splatters)a deep red/brown color. I have used it for sauteeing veggies and making salad dressing. I purchase mine from Wilderness Family Naturals.

Nicole said...

No I haven't checked that out - thanks. I will now!

Kimi @ The Nourishing Gourmet said...

Nicole,

I have been able to get beef suet ( to render into tallow) from local farmers (whom I also buy my grass fed beef from). Have any source like that?

(I just found your blog by the way! It's lovely!)

Nicole said...

Thanks Kimi,
I'm still looking for a local farmer to source meat from directly. I would love to get some beef bones for stock as well as suet.

Rose said...

Coconut oil
Pastured lard
Duck fat
Ghee

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