If like me, you are also new to the world of oils and Vinegars, it can seem overwhelming. Trust me I know how it feels.
With so many options in the market to choose from, it is even difficult to know where to begin! The best suggestion I can make is that, you start with the basics and expand slowly as you explore flavors and discover your own preferences.
What’s in my Pantry?
Oils: I personally use “Extra Virgin olive oil” in majority of my cooking, which can be used in almost any recipe, producing great results. From roasting vegetables to making sweets and breads, the possibilities are endless. Besides “Extra Virgin olive oil” is the highest grade for olive oil and considered the healthiest fat on earth. Olive oil is very high in monounsaturated fats and contains a modest amount of vitamins E and K. A good quality extra virgin olive oil is loaded with antioxidants, great for boosting skin health.
However, it is important that you invest in a good quality olive oil even though they might be more expensive. Remember to store the olive oil away from light and heat. A good rule of thumb is to buy what you consume in a month to maintain fresh olive oil.
The second most used oil in my kitchen is “Sesame oil”, which I use it for making Chinese, Japanese, South Indian and sometimes in middle eastern recipes. Sesame oil has a distinctive nutty aroma and taste, and should be only used in a small quantity otherwise the taste can be quite overpowering.
The third most used oil in my kitchen is “Peanut oil”, that I use in my salad dressing and dipping sauces.
I use “Coconut oil” in Indian dishes and to make pancakes and granolas, and “Butter” when I am making pastries and croissants however mainly during holiday season.
Vinegars: When It comes to vinegar, I like using “Balsamic vinegar” in my salad dressings or simply to serve as a dip with olive oil and bread. I use “Apple Cider vinegar” for so many of its health benefits, to name a few; Apple Cider vinegar helps to lower cholesterol, reduces the risk of heart disease and help you to lose weight by lowering blood sugar and insulin level therefore making you feel full.
When making vegetarian sushi and Asian wok stir-fries, I use “Rice vinegar” for its mild taste and relatively low acidity.
Finally, I use “Champagne, Red Wine and White Wine vinegar” to make my vinaigrettes for green salads, potato salads, pasta salads and so much more.