Friday, 15 July 2011

Oils ain't oils, Sol.... or are they?

What the hell is the deal with just about every TV chef adding a ‘glug’ or a ‘dash’ of olive oil to every single thing they cook?

I understand the flavours of olive oils; the olive oil tastings (like wine tastings), and the reasoning behind the use of olive oil. But the gay abandon with which they douse a perfectly fine dish with a finishing glug of oil astonishes me, and is starting to piss me off severely!

Justine Schofield (ex-Master Chef contestant), on her Everyday Gourmet cooking show seems to be the main offender at the moment. I guarantee whatever she cooks is finished off with that drizzle of olive oil – whether it’s a sweet or savoury dish! And in most cases, it simply isn’t necessary or warranted. It doesn’t harm the dish but it just isn’t necessary. I equate it to that ghastly old habit 20-odd years ago of adding a sprig of parsley to everything you served up in a restaurant – a sackable offence if you omitted the parsley garnish!

Yeah, I’ll admit I’m old, but in my day, you bought olive oil at the chemist. It was popped onto a cotton ball after baby’s bath time, before you dressed the little darling, and you oiled the folds in baby’s naked body, like between the buttocks, under its cute little arms, and under its chin.

In my pantry I have numerous oils, each with their various different uses in different scenarios. I use them all, and spend a lot of shopping time checking out different oils, especially ones I haven’t seen or used before. So I’m definitely not putting my hand up to being an oil philistine or luddite. But honestly…!!

My favourite addition to my cooking is a small ‘tip’ of truffle oil added to a cream of mushroom soup. That flavour is a marriage made in heaven, in my humble opinion (or, just to prove I am not a total dinosaur, IMHO!).

So TV chefs – keep it real please!

12 comments:

reb said...

Rita

I understand. Believe me I really do.

Once upon a time it was a knob of butter added at the end of steaming some vegetables, but of course, that all came to a crashing end when the fun police got involved, with the exception of the Two Fat Ladies of course, who continued the tradition of wrapping a pound of butter in bacon, coating it in lard and then deep frying it until it was crispy and delicious.

But the liberal splash of olive oil here or verjuice there, is only one of veritable list of sins bandied about by the so-called “TV Chefs.”

In fact the term “TV Chefs” is really an oxymoron in itself.

I mean in all honesty, has anyone ever watched an episode of that stupid fkn show “Surfing the Menu” about a couple of bogan surfers who manage to cook up a barbie every night and somehow as an audience we are meant to ooh and aah and the shear genius of adding a bit of garlic to some olive oil?

Gee, I guess no one had thought of that before.

And of course, once they start endorsing supermarkets and kitchenware, and god knows what else, rather than actually “cooking” their credibility starts to look a little shaky (at least as far as I’m concerned).

Curtis Stone might think that he's a be a bit of a chick magnet, but his cooking in my (not so) humble opinion is very mediocre.

Apparently Qantas in-flight meals are designed by Neil Perry.

Recently I flew Qantas and was dished up this greasy piece of congealed muck dripping in soggy oily “pastry” purporting to be what the hostess called “a chicken pie.”

It was fkn disgusting.

But I digress…

Coming back to the point, it seems that some establishments are now, thankfully, returning to the tradition of serving genuine butter with fresh bread as a side dish rather than the ever-so-trendy dipping sauce of olive oil with a dash of balsamic.

It’s nice to see common-sense prevail, finally.

Not that I’m usually one to complain mind you…

Anonymous said...

negative negative negative negative

Deb C said...

I so miss the two fat ladies... my mother always told me "never trust a skinny chef" and I think these ladies took it to the extreme. I must admit I do use olive oil but only for those dishes that it seems made for (Greek, Italian etc). I have peanut or seasme oil for Asian, canola for general frying, garlic infused oil for that something special and good old dripping for deep frying. Maybe I'm the other way, an oil tart! At least Justine has committed herself to one oil, and one alone. Would love to hear what the likes of Steve use but I've been told duck dripping is the best for roast veg....

Swanny said...

Anon 1.12 - Nice Tony Abbott impersonation!

sir grumpy said...

Yes Deb C, bit of peanut oil for Chinese stir fries, ghee or butter or canola or mix of these for Indian and even the olive oild one down from Extra Virgin for some frying or just canola here.

Anonymous said...

Any curry puffs?

reb said...

did someone mention curry puffs..?

:)

Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with adding olive oil to a dish. It tastes great, is healthy (great for your heart and cholesterol) and does absolutely nothing bad to a dish. I really don't see what the problem is - the Italians and Spaniards have being doing it for centuries so why can't we?

Sunnybrae and all who sail in her said...

Truffle oil has a lot to answer for
in my opinion. Its done more to confuse the punter about truffle than can be reasonably forgiven. I especially hate it when people add truffle oil to real truffles because they believe the real thing is not strong enough to justify the price. I put it in the same category as vanilla essence. Sorry....

Rita said...

George - I'm of exactly the same opinion as you re truffle oil, so no apologies needed. I just love the flavour it gives my mushroom soup. That's the only dish I would ever use it in. Like Deb C, I use sesame oil in most of my Asian food, and love the flavour it adds to them too.
Anon 205 - I am not bagging olive oil. Just picking on the TV chefs who toss it over everything!

ut si said...

Hand pressing our olives today Rita...no one will be glugging it over anything! Had the most beautiful butter at Ethos last week. Prof prefers pig fat on his toast.

lemon curd said...

Didjaknow, the flavour in truffle oil is created on a molecular level as long term storage of truffles in oil creates a nasty environment for bacteria etc?